The Norman Transcript


August 11, 2013

Cell phone hacking: don’t be a victim

NORMAN — Unless you’ve been living on Pluto for the past 20 years, you probably know that computers need to be protected from the dangers of the Internet. It doesn’t matter if it’s a desktop or laptop computer, the same protections are needed.

But, what about that computer you carry around in your pocket or purse? You know, your cell phone?

Few new cell phones exist that don’t have some sort of Internet connectivity. If you are one of those folks still complaining that you “just want a phone that makes calls and nothing else,” well, I can sympathize. However, like it or not, the unstoppable future has arrived and it’s not going back, so it’s time to adapt.

Most people can’t even tell you what the word “cell” in the phrase “cell phone” means anymore. I guess that’s OK, because “cell” phones are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

Goodbye cell phone, hello “smart” phone.

What exactly makes a phone “smart” is not entirely clear, but one thing is certain: the device responsible for engraving the phrase “smart phone” forever in stone is Apple’s iPhone. Not long after being released, the iPhone quickly surpassed the Blackberry, the former king of smart phones.

With the iPhone offering not only contacts, calendaring and email features, but easy website surfing, photo/video capabilities and the ability to pick from thousands of “apps” (“applications,” AKA, “programs”), the iPhone was a no-brainer. In spite of its limitations and shortcomings, the iPhone was about as close as you could get to having a true pocket computer. Plus, you could make phone calls, too.

Other smart phones have followed, with Android phones (my favorite) surpassing the iPhone in sales and flexibility. The new kid on the block, Microsoft’s Windows Phone, is an unproven platform and its success remains to be seen.

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