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Mar. 08 2012

123456 won’t cut it in this case

By Dyana Neal | Posted in Host Blogs | 1 Comment

I don’t have a “smartphone” yet.  The electronic device on which I text, check email, look at Facebook, & yes, occasionally make calls would perhaps be better described as a “slow-on-the-uptake” phone. It does almost everything I need it to do, but I’m becoming more & more curious about the apps, better quality photos, & improved internet access offered by updated devices, so one of these days, I’m sure I will get over my attachment to my QWERTY keyboard (& corresponding aversion to the touch screen) & get a smartphone.  Either that or technology will force me to get one by making phones such as mine obsolete. Certain friends of mine would say that has already happened! When I do succumb to the smartphone trend, the first thing I do on my new “toy” will not be to take a picture of one or both cats, check out vintage clothing auctions on eBay, or search for recipes. No, it will be to provide the phone with a password – one that even my closest friends won’t be able to guess.

If you think that makes me sound a bit paranoid, well, I was watching the “Today” show at the gym this morning & saw a story that appalled me, although sadly, it didn’t surprise me. Here’s a link to the video & story on the show’s website.  

“Collectively, 89 percent of finders clicked on something they probably shouldn’t have.” Whoa. I’m a gregarious person by nature & have spent my entire adult life in very public careers, but I also value my privacy – & that of others. A couple of months ago, I found a cell phone in the dressing room at a clothing store & immediately turned it over to one of the SAs in hopes that the phone’s rightful owner would soon come looking for it. I looked at the screen on the front of the phone, but didn’t open it up in hopes of accessing the contacts list, although that may, in fact, have been a more direct way to return it. Am I a morally superior being? No, I simply felt weird even holding onto someone else’s phone, much less inspecting the data stored on it. Apparently many people – especially the woman quoted in the “Today” piece who found a phone at the Santa Monica Pier & used it for a week before her rather tardy conscience made an appearance – think nothing of such behavior. If you found a smartphone with potentially sensitive information on it, what would you do?

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Dyana is WBJC's midday host. Her full bio can be read here.

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