“Hey Brother, A nickel for your Spam . ..”
“Sure, I’ll sell you my spam for a nickel!”
“No Brother, you owe me a nickel for your Spam.”
“Oh Yeah, Why is that?”
“I’m your Wireless Carrier!”
As we continue our series on Broken Technology, we turn to some of the lingering problems that exist with mobile devices from mobile phones to PDA’s even to MP3 players.
Many of these devices are not very secure and very vulnerable to spam, viruses and worse. A short while back a batch of Ipods shipped with virus preloaded on them from the manufacturer.
More and more mobile users have been hit with spammy text messages that can be charged to their bill if not disputed. Even if they are successfully disputed it is a very inconvenient process not to mention a spam text message coming in the middle of the night can literally cause you to lose sleep.
Its not just text messages either, more telemarketing calls are taking place on mobile phones, whether its from online databases grabbing mobile information or firms running dialer operations, or even a recycled number that brings a new cellular subscriber the ghost of past users callers a voicemail. No one wants to purchase a new cell phone, setup a new mobile number take it home and wake up to a 3 am call for a booty call, well maybe most people don’t.
McAfee and Symantec have both rolled out virus scanning software for Symbian and Windows mobile platform devices, but the reality is that many phones from the major phone providers do not protect their phones out of the box.
The issue of security could prove to be one of the drivers that move more people to VOIP technologies that have more capabilities for opt in user groups for receiving both phone calls and text messages.
Phone carriers are working to deploy some software over their networks to scan for viruses but these services will only work on a few phones in those networks.