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Mobile Security


Mobile security is a big deal but let's face it, most people don't do a very good job of protecting their data. Of course, back ups, synching and secure passwords are all important but a recent court case may make how you secure your phone or mobile device  just as important.

A recent court case involved an individual who had protected the data on his phone using his fingerprint as security to lock or unlock his phone. The judge in this case ruled that the person could be compelled to place his finger on his phone to unlock its contents for the police. (Not sure of the crime but it must have been severe enough to warrant unlocking his phone).

The judge stated that if his phone was password protected he could not have been compelled to tell officers his password. Why not you might ask. Remember I am not an attorney and I do not play one on TV, with that in mind I will try to paraphrase the ruling..

You can not be forced to incriminate yourself in a crime. In the U.S., if you plead the fifth (the fifth amendment) you can refuse to speak on the grounds that it may (or may not) incriminate you. The ruling indicated that the fingerprint was not unlike a DNA swab or blood test which anyone can be compelled to do under the right circumstances. The Fifth amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees that we have the right to avoid incriminating ourselves simply by keeping our mouths shut.

So if you are going to protect your phone, tablet, laptop or PC etc. you may want to consider secure passwords (8 characters plus utilizing upper and lower case letters, numbers and if allowable special characters) instead of the newer fingerprint, swipe, retina etc scans available on some gadgets. .

Not that I think any of you would have anything questionable (you know who you are) on your phones but better safe than locked up with a guy that wants to cuddle with you in your cell each night.

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