Business data is important and it has also changed dramatically over the last few years with the advent of the Android phone. In a mobile Android phone world of business it’s not only critical to secure and keep your data private but you also need to understand just what your Android phones are capable of bleating out in terms of the data they can give away. In fact we’ve had a deep dive help article about cheap Android phones available on our website for a while that’s free to read.

This week we’ve seen a few stories about cheap Android phones and some not so cheap phone brands that are clearly 0ver-stepping the mark when it comes to, quite frankly, stealing your data and sending it back to China.  This blog hopes to allay your fears but also tries to underline just what the problem is too so you can better understand your mobile phone IT needs.

So just what is the issue here?

It’s been in the general news last week that there have been cases of cheap Chinese mobile Android phones sending back data to China.  This data has been apparently used to help the Chinese government understand Western consumers better so that it can help it’s own companies push Chinese brands in the West more successfully.  Brands like Blu, or Doogee  among others have done this by installing apps into their OS’s that are hidden and cannot be removed by the user.

Just how bad is the problem

Well there are so far more than a few hundred thousand cases reported but more brands are being found out every week now.  Add to this that the issue is exasperated by users downloading and using rogue apps that then use the installed apps to gain permission for all kinds of data access.  The problem is that data being sent back from a business or enterprise level android phone is pretty bad because it could even put your business at risk of breaking the data protection act.

Data being stolen has been shown to be anything from location information of the device to contacts data and in some cases even emails and texts.  Through the silently running “rogue” apps installed on these devices, other apps can be written that don’t need explicit permissions to take this kind of data.

So what do I need to do to make sure I don’t fall foul of these devices?

Simple. Firstly you don’t need to spend £1000 on your device like in the good old days! There are many brands and many ways you can check.  All Raptor devices for example have been tested, had their OS’s re-written and customised and have no apps or malware installed that we don;t understand exactly what is doing.  Here’s the 3 questions you need to ask your supplier:

  1. Ask them where the OS came from and who wrote it.  This is the case in almost all of the cheaper Android phones you can buy.  If it has any sign of Chinese OS on it, then the chances are it is not going to be a good sign for you.
  2. Ask them out right if they know of any rogue apps that may exist on the devices.
  3. Go and see for yourself.  You can simply see many apps by looking in the App section of the settings on the any Android phone.  You’d be surprised to see all kinds of apps with permissions that don’t quite add up.  For example
Other tips

Definitely read our deep dive article on buying Chinese sourced Rugged Android phones.  If you see any of the things mentioned in there then we’d always advice on walking away.

Also remember that when it comes to your business you have a duty of care to your workers and your customers data, not to mention that if you breach this trust in any way then your business could fail.  So, take it seriously, its not just about the money.  Work with UK businesses with a phone, decent website and email whom can take responsibility for things like this. Don’t go getting your Android phones on Ebay and also keep away fro the cheap tat websites that are just flogging copies.

What might be a bargain today, might just end up being the very reason your business fails, so always remember to follow this advice.

 

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.