If I had £1 for everytime I was asked, "What is the most secure smartphone?", I don't think I would be sitting here blogging. The recent withdrawal of a raft of Android apps has yet again focused people's minds on this important question—everyone wants to make sure they are using the most secure device. It's a bit like watching BBC TV's Top Gear—we all want our cars to be rated the coolest of the bunch. After all who wants to be stuck with a lemon of a phone?
As part of my unhealthy obsession on smartphone security for the forseeable future I have put together a pretty well equipped lab and test environment so that I can decide what I think, in my humble opinion, is the most secure smartphone and operating system.
I have to say the lady in the Vodafone store thought that Christmas had come early when I ended up walking out with half a dozen smart phones in one go. Sad to say this now makes my mobile phone collection far larger than what is considered normal outside of drug dealing circles. I have everything from early 1990's monsters through to the Apple iPhone 4 and most in between.
Anyway, I will be conducting a great deal of research over the next 12 months, including a couple of academic papers in support of an MSc I am completing at Royal Holloway, University of London in information security. My project is on smartphone security and I am lucky to have the support of a major network provider (more of whom later) who are interested in the outcome of my report as well.
So, what smartphones will I be reviewing and more importantly using for day to day business as well as trying to break?
I have a BlackBerry Bold which I have just commissioned, upgrading from my older "work" BlackBerry. (The only problem is I keep trying to caress the screen ala iPhone to make it work. Top tip—BlackBerrys don't work like that...)
The Apple iPhone I have is a work of art. I love the touch screen but I am infuriated by the app store and, in particular, the lack of response I have had when trying to setup an account. That said I have managed to access some apps via Mrs S's account (with permission) and the Trainline app is very useful.
I have not spent much quality time with my HTC Wildfire, Nokia N8 or LG900 but plan to do so over the coming months.
So there you have it. I will report back regularly on how I manage to break, disable or otherwise destroy these phones all in the name of research over the next year. In the meantime I am going to be using my old faithful Nokia for voice calls and BlackBerry for emails.
I will be at the InfoSecurity exhibition in April running a keynote on smartphone security if anyone fancies a chat. There are also a growing number of papers I have written on this subject on the Bloor website.