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BY NISHANT ARORA
In the wake of reported snooping attacks on smartphones owned by people who matter (WhatsApp-Pegasus spyware being the latest example), making that humble feature phone your secondary companion won’t be a bad idea as it still has a smaller attack surface.
The feature phone in your pocket can be used for basic calling and texting requirements, keeping you away from the prying eyes of nation-state bad actors or individual hackers looking to spy on your data, as the device will be free of third-party apps that open possibilities of “backdoor” entry by hackers who exploit vulnerabilities lurking in the operating system and codes.
Smartphones today present more danger than ever. Researchers have found vulnerabilities that impact the camera apps of Android-based smartphones, presenting significant implications to hundreds of millions of smartphone users.
Reports also surfaced that hackers may use a critical vulnerability in WhatsApp to execute snooping attack on both Android and iOS devices via sending a downloadable MP4 file.
According to Prateek Bhajanka, Senior Principal Analyst at Gartner, it is high time that we acknowledge the fact that nothing is inherently secure, and 100 per cent security is unattainable and impractical.
“Yes, a feature phone has a smaller attack surface compared to smartphones, but it does have an attack surface. Large scale attacks leveraging SS7 vulnerabilities have come to light, which feature phones are subject to,” Bhajanka told IANS.
An SS7 attack is an exploit that takes advantage of a weakness in the design of SS7 (signalling system 7). While the SS7 network is fundamental to cellphones and its operators, the security of the design relied entirely on trust.
The fact is: We do not read or hear security breaches in feature phones often because smartphones are goldmines for data when it comes to people of importance — politicians, journalists, judges, celebrities, key members of the civil society and more.
Sanjay Katkar, Chief Technology Officer of cybersecurity firm Quick Heal, said that cybersecurity awareness and adoption in India, particularly among smartphone users, is extremely poor.
“Very few smartphone users have any security solution installed on their mobile devices. Most users also don’t follow basic security hygiene, such as applying software patches and updates, and often click on suspicious links without verifying their veracity,” Katkar told IANS.
This leaves Indian smartphone users vulnerable to threats in the cyberspace.
“With the global threat landscape evolving at a rapid pace, cyber-attacks are becoming more sophisticated. There will be more advanced threats to target smartphones, making these devices sitting ducks for such attacks,” he warned.
Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, said that people would not switch device segment for security.
“There are still many basic things within a smartphone which people don’t know that can prevent them from being exposed to malware or fix the security issues (like software and security updates).
“In a mobile-first country like India, security is an elephant in the room and is one area which users still don’t rate high in terms of preference and there is lack of awareness on that front,” Pathak told IANS.
Moreover, said Bhajanka, implementing security or fixing security weakness in feature phones is all the way more difficult as embedded operating systems are difficult to patch and security vendors aren’t actively offering security products for feature phones.
“Also, the feature phones may relatively be more secure than smartphones, but they can’t be immune to state or nation-sponsored attacks or snooping which Pegasus is an example of,” Bhajanka informed.
The only option that remains, added Katkar, is to be wary of cyber-attacks and follow robust security hygiene to counter the growing risk.
“One must strike the right balance between security and convenience, and smartphone users should be more aware of security hygiene practices such as — do not download apps from illegitimate sources or publishers, do not click on weird links, have a passcode, etc.,” advised Bhajanka.
However, trying a feature phone as an additional device won’t be a bad idea, as it still remains a low-target, low-profile device. (IANS)
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. Not only do fans love Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding performance, but the actor's heartwarming words are also highly regarded. A much moved Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.
When Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became bankrupt in the late 1990s, Dhirubhai Ambani stepped forward to give him financial assistance. In his speech, Bachchan remembered that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to offer him financial assistance during the crisis, which he had respectfully declined. Lenders began knocking on his door, losses mounted, and his bank account dwindled to nothing. He said, "Dhirubhai's money might have gotten me out of the problem quickly. However, I respectfully declined his offer and gradually began to find work again, which let me pay off my debt."
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. | Flickr
Later, after Bachchan had recovered from the bankruptcy, one day he was invited to an event at Dhirubhai's residence; Bachchan added, "Dhirubhai was standing and having a chat with his industrialist friends when he saw me there, he called me, firstly I felt shy even to present myself in front of such big industrialists but then, I went there, and Dhirubhai declared in front of all of them that 'This young man had fallen but managed to get back up on his own, I have a lot of respect for him because of that.' Those words of his were worth much more to me than any amount of money that he could have offered me."
It was the "Reliance Family Day" event and was attended by members of the Ambani family from all generations. The event commemorated the company's 40-year journey since its inception. It also celebrated the 85th birthday of the late Dhirubhai Ambani, RILs (Reliance Industries Limited) founder.
Keywords: Bollywood, Reliance, Amitabh Bachchan, Dhirubhai Ambani, event
In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.
Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:
Every child responds differently to disturbing events: What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.
Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash
Encourage your child to be transparent: Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. The unpleasantness will pass if your child opens up about it and that the phase is temporary. While many teens may be reluctant to talk about their feelings with a parent, encourage them to confide in another trusted adult such as a family friend, relative, or a counselor and teacher. It's important to talkeeven if it's not with you.
Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. | Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash
Deter your child from reliving the disturbing event: Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. However, to negate such things from happening encourage activities that keep your child's mind occupied so they're not obsessive about the event. You could encourage your children to read, play games together, or simply watch an uplifting movie.
Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. | Photo by Юлія Дубина on Unsplash
Cocoon your child with warmth: In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. Teens may try to be tough through it and avoid being held, but they still need the proximity.
In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. | Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash
Maintain routines. Establishing a predictable structure and schedule for your child's life can help to make the world seem more stable again. Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. Make sure your child accommodates time and space for rest, play, and fun. Keeping up with a schedule can help countercheck the obnoxious feeling of stress and worry in children about the future being dark, hopeless, and unpredictable.
Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. | Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Acknowledge and validate your child's concerns. The disastrous events in life may give place to unrelated fright and concerns in your child. However, understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child. If at any point the child blames himself for the event make sure to make it clear and crisp the event was not their fault, you love them, and it's okay for them to feel upset, angry, or scared but not guilty.
Understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event. The traumatic event may bring up unrelated fears and issues in your child. However, by accepting their thoughts and replacing their fear with your love and direction, the ominous feelings will start to fade away. Eventually, the child will be able to return to a normal and healthy life. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kids, Help, stress, cope, routine, warmth, understanding, encourage, psychology, children
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that," the report quoted EU commissioner Thierry Breton as saying.
The Commission also wants to unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices, which it says will improve the consumers' convenience. "With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste." In addition, the Commission will require manufacturers to provide relevant information about charging performance. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Electronic Devices, Chargers, Cable, smartphone, Adapters, Charging Cord