in post

29 July 2021

Phone security

I was looking at phone security again yesterday, and decided to explore whether it is more secure to go back to a dumb phone. According to my reading, it is safer to use a smart phone, but to dumb it down. That means, in the case of Android, not to sign in to Google, Samsung, or other services, to disconnect it from data services, to install few apps, etc.

I bought my current Samsung phone a couple of years ago. I have never signed in to Google or Samsung. I use only apps downloaded from the free open source repository FDroid or, rarely, added manually (that already means no mainstream social media, no WhatsApp, etc.).

I have never actually felt a need for anything beyond FDroid, but still do quite a lot with my phone. I can check my email and calendar, message over Telegram and SMS, follow the Fediverse, read wordprocessor documents, browse the web, set alarms, listen to music, take photos and videos, authenticate 2FA, check the weather, convert currencies, keep shopping lists, and do many other things if I desired.

Some of those things I don't actually need, as I am close to a computer most of the day. So, for now, I have turned off the phone's mobile data wifi, location and bluetooth connections. One helpful article that I found also pointed out that it is possible to fine tune the permissions granted each app, so I have done that for when I do need to turn on data services.

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