Losing A Phone – A Social Media Security Breach?

Nokia N95 8GB

Image via Wikipedia

I lost my Nokia N95 this morning riding around Paris on a Velib. By the time I realized that it had fallen out, I was back in our neighborhood and there was no way I was going to retrace the ride. Plus, it most likely got crushed by a car on the streets we were riding on.

But there’s a possibility that it didn’t and that someone could have picked it up. And that’s where things get a bit interesting. Before I lost the phone I installed a twitter client on it (twibble) and shozu which is like a bulk uploader for all kinds of social media services (Facebook, Typepad, Flickr, YouTube, etc). And I had configured both to work on the N95.

So if someone picks up the phone and chooses to post to this blog, my facebook account, my Flickr account, and my YouTube account, it’s possible on that N95 without needing a password. It’s a north american phone and doesn’t work on the european carriers but it works fine over wifi.

I’ve alerted shozu and hope there’s a way to de-activate my shozu account. The twibble client is more problematic.

Anyway, this brings up an interesting point regarding social software and services on mobile devices. This problem is not limited to mobile devices. The same thing is true on a laptop computer. But I suspect that mobile devices are lost/misplaced/etc a lot more than laptops.

And so it seems to me, based on my experience this morning, that the developers of social media software and services for mobile devices ought to build some easy ways to de-authorize their services.

And it’s entirely possible that both Shozu and Twibble have done that. If so, I’d love to hear how to do it. If not, then I’ll just have to wait and see if anyone starts guest posting here or elsewhere under my name in my accounts.

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