GeekNights Monday - How to Not Suck at Smartphone Security

Yeah, that’s what I was saying with lawyers deposit box etc. You may still want the ability to directly unlock the device if there’s no way to reset the passcode without wiping, but in most circumstances an iCloud / iTunes backup is probably sufficient and if it really comes down to it accessing a locked iPhone that you can prove ownership of is currently about $4k give or take.

I legitimately cannot imagine giving my girlfriend access to my phone for more than “Hey, look at this meme”, and I can’t imagine wanting that level of access to hers. I don’t even like showing people videos on my devices for too long, to be frank; any sort of “hey let’s watch this” is better suited to one of the TVs somewhere in the house unless it’s like “Hey, watch this Vine” type shit.

I know that upthread this position is discussed as a lack of trust, but if you ask me it’s the ultimate trust: I know she’s not fucking around behind my back, and she knows me well enough to know that I’m not fucking around behind hers. The closest anyone has to access to my phone is if six months pass without me touching any Google shit, a copy of all my data goes to my mom and girlfriend for posterity.

Ok off the top of my head, there’s 2 major access to someone’s phone I’m aware of that even relatively normal people use:

1: Shit my screen broke or the audiojack going in and out or in some way or other it has a problem and needs to go to someone who takes phones apart for a living. Perhaps this is further complicated by the fact that for years I dated someone who did that very thing and could get free phone repairs at home as long as I were to give up my phone to my SO

2: The classic dad. “Hey son, I’m having a problem doing x on my phone can you help me?”. While I’m not really one to do this myself, I really can’t help being both computer savvy and the person my family and friends rely on for tech support.

Giving computer or phone support to someone while they observe is obviously an “exception” to that rule.

Unobserved would be creepy though.

As for “my screen broke” how often can that possibly happen and how much do you need a phone for the time between when you break it and you get it fixed? And if I take my phone to a place to get it fixed, it’s getting hard wiped first.

I mean, I have broken my current phone’s screen once since I bought the pixel 3a whenever that came out. I’m guessing like 5 years. This isn’t a common occurrence but ya know, it does happen. That said when I bring it to the place, I don’t hard wipe it first. That’s more hassle than I need.

This I agree with, the places I’ve been to have all been, if you bring it in x hours before we close we can have it done same day so I just hang around in that neighborhood phoneless, for a few hours while they fix it.

I recall reading somewhere about iPhones also having such a mode, but I can’t find the link now.

Basically, this is a known problem. They have created a mode where technicians can do everything they need to do to repair the hardware of the phone, and verify it’s working, without unlocking it or having any access to your personal data.

Even if that mode does not exist, wiping it and then loading a backup post-repair achieve the same result. Phone backups these days are effectively perfect, so they will cause no hassle to the phone owner beyond the waiting time.

I would place “repair company” as the single biggest security threat to smartphone users above phishing.