BY: LISA CUMMING
When you’re a child, you are constantly watched, privacy is just a concept. Unfortunately now that I’m an adult not much has changed.
One of the biggest concerns about privacy in the digital age is the “hackability” of cellphones. You should be guaranteed the luxury of getting in the mood, taking a few nude photos, uploading them to your personal whateverCloud and calling it a day: all without worrying about data breaches and crap like that. Sadly, because of the era in which we live, the security system protecting your photos is not 100 percent reliable. For all you know some trolls on the sub-sub forums of Reddit are going to get a wicked little idea and make your private parts very, very public.
Statistics show young adults are the prime target for privacy invasion.
In saying this, now is not the time to give in to irrational fear or to start a conspiracy Tumblr. Now is the time to embrace the wonderful and fucked up world of technology. Educate yourself on how to preserve your privacy, because sure as can be the government isn’t really focused on doing that for you.
One of the most flawless ways to secure your own privacy is through encryption. Encryption is geek-speak for translating the content of your text messages, call records, and photos into gobbledygook so that an uninvited guest cannot gain access to your innermost thoughts and desires. (All those texting while drunk moments can remain yours, and yours only.)
If you’re a latecomer to this game, no problem, there are oodles of guides that are thirsty to teach newbies how to encrypt data on any type of phone. But if you’re not one to want to spend time on such a thing, and if you’re finally being released from the prison that is a cell phone plan, the Blackphone 2 is something you can check out.
Blackphone is the baby of two companies: GeeksPhone, a Spanish smartphone developer and Silent Circle, a Swiss encrypted communications firm.
“We’re always the black sheep,” said co-founder Mike Janke at the release of Blackphone 2. Janke talks about how Blackphone prides itself on being more concerned with issues like security when the rest of the industry is working on features like “selfie sticks, bent screens, waterproofing and candy colors.”
Blackphone’s biggest draw is the fact that it’s the first phone line to be built with SilentOS, an operating system that exists on top of the phone’s Android base, which offers everything as a private function. Blackphone has encrypted text, photo/video sharing, and call options. The website boasts a “silent world” capability that includes private communications all over the world with no additional roaming charges.
Mike writes that the team “wanted a device that gave the user complete control over all of their data, putting the choice of what to share and with whom back in the user’s hands.”
There’s also an option for all of the devoted iPhone users who a) can’t bear the thought of switching to Android and b) don’t want to spend their time watching tutorials. Silent Circle offers both their Silent Call and Silent Text applications for purchase. This just layers the SilentOS operating system on top of the existing IOS to offer next-level encryption wizardry.
While the Blackphone is a really fascinating piece of technology, as an average citizen not worried about a Wikileaks sized scandal you probably don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with it. It’s easy enough to master your own digital environment.
Devices like Blackphone offer the public a great service, even if the majority of people decide not to buy the actual product. The phone gives awareness to the importance of having privacy and security in your everyday life, and offers the way to getting just that: through encryption.
Whether you’re going to shell out hard cash for a ready-made service, or if you decide to DIY and commit an afternoon to YouTube videos, encrypting your phone data is always a good idea. That way you can stop fearing the unknown, and embrace the fact that you’re able to keep the Peeping Toms out of your personal property.