While most of us aren't sharing military-level secrets over our cellphones, we're also not conducting too many phone calls or text messages that we're comfortable with any stranger intercepting. Hollywood has seen its fair share of phone hacking scandals, and while some may question the validity of those hacking claims, even more of us have information on our own phones that we want to keep private.
Mobile security and privacy company NQMobile conducted a recent survey where 87 percent of cellphone users reported having at least some content stored on their phones that they want kept to themselves. Whether it's family photos, contact lists, work-related documents, or even flirty texts, our phones have become a vault of private information. Yet oddly, most people don't even lock them with a simple PIN number to keep this information secure.
Even if you're protecting the data stored on your phone, chances are you're not taking steps to cover the texts that you send out or the calls that you make. The way to do this is through encryption. Once limited to spies and other top-secret government officials, there are multiple options in the app marketplace that enable anyone to take security to a heightened level.
Silent Circle is one new option specifically for the iPhone. The app was developed by two former Navy SEALs, with their ideal customer being one of company COO Vic Hyder's "army friends, now making classified trips through war-town countries for reasons he can't disclose."
Silent Circle's founders recently sat down with Buzzfeed to explain the military-grade encryption that their new app offers users. After creating a highly secure encryption key, "at the end of each call, the keys are erased, so nothing can be decrypted after the fact. The result is an airtight secure line."
Depending on who and how many people purchase this app, or one from a competitor, the US government could have something to say against companies like Silent Circle.
If the company were ever asked to hand over a call's transcript, since the keys are deleted immediately after a call's completion, the only thing Silent Circle could provide would be encrypted and "garbled data" with nothing to decipher it.
Silent Circle's app offers a feature called "Burn Notice" that allows a sender to immediately delete a text message from both their phone, as well as the message recipient. Buzzfeed notes that Silent Circle "can pull off a trick that's increasingly unthinkable in the modern day: unsending data."
As impressed with astounding advances in technology as so many people tend to be, just as many, if not more, worry about who will put it to use, and for what purpose. The FBI recently renewed its own requests for more widespread surveillance laws, making sure their wiretap laws are secure as encryption options continue to grow in number.
A resident copywriter and editor for TechWell, SQE, and StickyMinds.com, Noel Wurst has written for numerous blogs, websites, newspapers, and magazines. Noel has presented educational conference sessions for those looking to become better writers. In his spare time, he can be found spending time with his wife and two sons—and tending to the food on his Big Green Egg. Noel eagerly looks forward to technology's future, while refusing to let go of the relics of the past.