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Does the Blackphone offer improved smartphone security?

The Android-based Blackphone claims to be able to provide more security than the standard smartphones available today. Expert Kevin Beaver explores the reality of the assertion.

I heard a new "blackphone" is available, an Android device that offers more secure telephony. While I know it's...

in the beginning stages, how will this new phone offer better security versus the smartphones of today?

Knowing what we do now about the U.S. government's domestic surveillance, the Blackphone looks like what every paranoid IT professional or business executive needs. It not only ensures secure phone calls, it also secures file exchanges and storage, text messages and video chats, and even anonymous Web browsing through the customized PrivateOS operating system.

As for whether this device offers better security -- we're living in an age where no one really knows. With all of the government spies, criminal hackers and other technologists out there, there's really no way to know what's safe anymore. Nonetheless, the Blackphone offers security features for Web browsing and file transfer, as well as voice and text. The Blackphone is also unlocked and compatible with all carriers.

If you aren't sure if you are being spied on, I say take the approach that "the microphone is always on." Combined with more traditional antimalware and remote wipe features, such as what Webroot and Lookout have to offer. Be careful what you say and type -- as we've seen in the media, things can (and will) come back to bite you.

The Blackphone may offer better privacy and security than what we have today; however, I think if more people actually read end-user license agreements or app permissions for anything Android-related, they'd be a bit less forthcoming with what they do and say on their devices.

Needless to say, I'm going to keep my eye on this product, and even if I end up with a Blackphone, I'm going to be careful with how I use it -- especially since it will most certainly be a target of those that have ill intent or otherwise something to gain.

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This was last published in November 2014

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Safest phone is the one that isn't used for sensitive data storage, transfer and access. If folks are that concerned about their devices being accessed and/or hacked, then let's go back to fully wired for sensitive info. Seems like common sense. Everything can be breached!
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Absolutely, Jeff. it's not all that different from the people who use social media to dump their lives out onto the Internet and then complain about not having any privacy.
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