E-Discovery » Unprotected Smartphone Data Easily Collected

Unprotected Smartphone Data Easily Collected

April 20, 2015

Attorneys, at the beginning of a case, need to be aware of the information that could be collected and produced from mobile devices, and note especially that it could include data that was thought to be deleted.

Today’s smartphones track our every move, and if users don’t properly protect their information all of that data is available for collection. Cell towers record the geo-location of every phone call. Photos may be automatically geo-tagged when they are taken. When a Wi-Fi network is joined, location information is stored and many apps ask to use your location information. Access to a detailed log of where someone was at any time of day could be valuable in some ligation.

Most people are aware that messages on their device can be collected, along with their time stamps, but the fact that much deleted information can be recovered is often a surprise.

Full browsing history, including deleted information, can also be collected, and information used by third party apps may be stored on the device. That’s the case even for apps that are supposed to be secure or delete information.

The best way to protect messages, browsing history and application information from collection is to strengthen the device’s general security. Using a longer password with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols makes it harder for anyone to break into a phone. Even computer programs designed to break passwords could take months or years to hack a complex password.

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