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What Uses Data on a Cell Phone?


What Uses Data on a Cell Phone?

By Sidekick Team

We feed them, we talk with them every day, we invest in them our money, energy, and love. In return, they give us a sense of connection and security. And no, they aren’t human.

Being closer to us than our pets, mobiles know a lot about us as we exchange tons of information through cellular connections. People rely on their mobile phones and this dependency shows in the surveys: fully 71% of non-broadband users say they are not interested in having such a connection at home.

Phones are so important in how we configure our lives, that we have to understand what is phone data used for and what they are sending out in our names.

What is Mobile Data?

Mobile data (also known as cellular) is a type of internet connection that is used with smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices. The cellular connection is usually provided by a mobile network operator and uses either 3G, 4G or 5G networks to provide access to the internet. Cellphone data is typically used for web browsing, streaming music, downloading files, and other online activities unless you are connected to a Wi-Fi spot.

Data is measured in metric units: megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB). One gigabyte contains 1000 megabytes.

How is mobile data different from other types of connection?

The main principle is that a cellular network does not tie you up to your computer, as it requires no hardwire like cable, fiber, broadband or ethernet. It is not localized as a WiFi signal, hence no router is required for its transition.

Mobile data is collected through cellular towers operating through radio frequencies. Each cell tower/base station is configured to cover a specific geographic area and provides coverage to mobile phones within that area. The average transmission level is up to 25 miles or more. Cellular networks cover approximately 99% of the total land area of the United States.

Why is it important to know about your data usage?

In a time when cell operators offer relatively similar offers for unlimited calls and messaging, the mobile plan you buy every month is actually for daily mobile data consumption. Or you may even pay for the pack of data, disregarding the period.

In both cases, you may notice the internet runs slower toward the end of the package. There’s a reason for it: when the data usage of a user exceeds the deprioritization threshold, their data is given lower priority than other users on the network. This means that you will experience slower speeds and your data may take longer to download or upload.

When it concerns your finances and efficiency, it’s good to understand what services you are entitled to and economize in a smart way.

How much data do we use?

The average internet usage by a U.S. citizen was approximately 12.8 gigabytes per month according to a 2020 report by the United States Federal Communications Commission. Streaming services, playing online games, using apps, sharing files, and sending files in a hidden mode – all require fuel. Instagram will take about 6MB of data per hour of active use, while mobile games tend to range from 10MB to over 100MB per hour of gameplay. Netflix shuts it off with spectacular 3GB per hour of high-definition streaming.

What is considered data on a cell phone as well?

Here are the types of not-so-obvious information using data on the phone:

Location Data: devices can collect data about a user’s location, such as their current location, recent locations visited, and areas of frequent travel.

Call Logs: this includes can track call logs, including incoming and outgoing calls, missed calls, and duration of each call.

Text Messages: Phones can track text messages sent and received, including the content of messages and the contact numbers involved.

Browser History: Mobile phones can track browsing history, including websites visited and links clicked.

Cloud services with your media: Mobile phones can store photos and videos taken with the device camera in the could services.

Usage records are stored on the SIM card (Subscriber Identity Module) and in the mobile internal memory block.

Who can access your cell phone data?

Ideally, we would say – only you. In reality, depending on the type of phone, your service provider, and phone settings, other people may be able to access the data on your phone, such as law enforcement with a warrant, the phone’s service provider, and the phone’s manufacturer.

Few words about background data

Background data is the dark driving force behind all your apps! Whether it’s keeping you up-to-date with the latest news, fetching content, sharing photos with your friends, or delivering notifications, background data is always working hard to make sure you have the best experience possible. This includes e.g. cookies and all the app file exchanges while it is not actively in use.

Background data sharing can be used to improve user experience, enable location-based services, and provide personalized content.

Is background data dangerous for user security?

Sending hidden info can pose a security risk, depending on what type of data is being collected. If an app is using background data to collect personal information, that data could be used to access user accounts or steal sensitive information. Don’t forget, background data is used to track users’ locations and activities, which could be used by malicious actors. Find out what type of data is being collected when using apps and only allow those apps to access data that is necessary for their intended purpose.

What is BYOD policy and how it affects mobile data security?

Many of us use portable devices for our work. In a corporate environment, if your company supports Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, the threat of data leakage increases. Cybercriminals and fraudsters can exploit the device’s vulnerabilities and cause harm or damage to the user and the organization. They seek trade secrets, insider information, and unauthorized access to a secure network to find anything that could be profitable. Most of the time extra monitoring and security measures are applied. And the enterprise should work out the recovery plan in case a mobile device is broken, lost, or stolen.

Any devices used in work processes should be extra protected. Sidekick browser will help in creating a fast and secure environment for your online work. In this text, we tell more about how can browsers amplify your online safety.

Even if you work as a freelancer and use data on a mobile device, you need to make sure your mobile data is free from misusing.

Major security threats to mobile data safety

Unsecure Wi-Fi: Unsecured Wi-Fi networks can be used to intercept data sent over the network.

Malicious Apps: Malicious apps or spy devices can be used to steal personal information, access financial accounts, or install malware. Ransomware is a form of malware, that threatens to delete or block access to data unless the user bails it out, usually with digital currency.

Unencrypted Communications: Unencrypted communications, such as SMS messages, can be intercepted and read by attackers.

Unprotected Data Storage: Data stored on a mobile device can be accessed without authentication if the device is not properly secured.

Social Engineering: Attackers can use social engineering techniques to gain access to a device or personal information. Phishing is the most common type of stealing sensitive data

Physical Theft: Theft of a device can lead to the loss of confidential data.

Unauthorized Access: Unauthorized access to a device can enable attackers to gain access to sensitive data.

Outdated operating systems: when mobile software is not updated, its vulnerabilities may be exploited by cybercriminals. Every company releases critical updates that are meant to protect from fraudsters.

How to protect cell phone data?

The overarching rules for data security are similar to all digital devices. The expectations of performance for modern devices have increased, so the security methods have changed in accordance and are being constantly reviewed.

These are 8 simple options to enforce your protection on a mobile.

  • Use a Password: Set a strong, unique password on your phone to keep unauthorized people from accessing your data.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication: Use two-factor authentication (2FA) to add an extra layer of security to your phone.
  • Encrypt Your Data: Use a reliable encryption app to protect your data from being accessed by unauthorized people.
  • Update Your Operating System: Keep your phone’s operating system updated to the latest version to ensure your data is secure.
  • Set up Remote Wiping: In the event that your phone is lost or stolen, you can use a remote wiping service to erase all of your data from the phone.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN): Use a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks to help protect your data from being accessed by hackers.
  • Monitor Your Apps: Keep an eye on the apps you download and make sure they are from a trusted source.
  • Backup Your Data: Regularly back up your data to a secure cloud storage service or external drive to keep your data safe.

What does a secure mobile environment involve?

If you want to get to the bottom of the data safety problem, you need to know how the mobile security ecosystem works. Protection should be offered in six major areas:

Enterprise mobility management(EMM) is a comprehensive set of tools and processes used to secure, manage, and monitor mobile devices, applications, and data used in an enterprise. It works in several ways, including encryption, mobile device management, application management, network security, mobile threat defense

  • Encryption: Encryption is used to protect data stored locally on a mobile device or in transit from the device to the enterprise.
  • Mobile Device Management: Mobile Device Management (MDM) is used to manage the configuration of mobile devices, such as enforcing password policies, remotely wiping devices, and deploying security patches.
  • Application Management: Application Management tools are used to manage the deployment, distribution, and updates of applications used on mobile devices.
  • Network Security: Network Security tools are used to secure the connections between mobile devices and the enterprise. This includes VPNs, firewalls, and wireless access points.
  • Mobile Threat Defense: Mobile Threat Defense solutions are used to detect and block malicious applications, malware, and other threats on mobile devices.

Email security involves a set of measures taken against malware, identity theft, and phishing scams. Sufficient email protection means you have antivirus&antispam solutions, image control, and content control services.

Endpoint protection helps organizations to connect endpoints to their response environments. using technologies such as mobile, IoT and cloud. In order for endpoint protection to be effective, it requires a constant update of these measures:

  • Malware definitions: as new malware is released, the definitions must be constantly updated in order to be effective.
  • Releasing evasion techniques: such include code obfuscation, packing, and encryption, which can make it difficult for traditional signature-based detection methods to identify malicious code.
  • False Positives: benign files or activities are sometimes incorrectly identified as malicious. This can lead to unnecessary disruption of legitimate activities and can also create a negative perception of the solution.
  • User Education: users are on the front line of detecting malicious offers and need to be properly informed about how they look.
  • Advanced Persistent Threats: typically involve multiple stages of attack and can remain undetected for extended periods of time. They require special endpoint protection.

A VPN service mobile-wise comes in dozens of paid and free options. VPN will help to stay safe using public WiFi networks. Paid VPN comes with enhanced speed and improved data encryption. They offer more servers and locations to choose from, faster speeds, and better encryption protocols. It often offers extra features such as ad-blocking, extra security protocols, and unlimited data and bandwidth, while free options typically provide limited data or slow speeds. Paid VPNs also come with customer service and technical assistance if you run into any issues. To serve well, VPN must be regularly updated and always on while you browse on your mobile.

Secure gateways is a software or hardware system that acts as security checkpoint for controlling access to a network or private information system. Gateway typically includes a firewall, intrusion detection and prevention, virtual private network (VPN), web application firewall, and other security features.

Cloud access broker is a third-party service provider that provides a platform to connect organizations to cloud services. It acts as an intermediary between organizations and cloud providers, providing access to cloud services, controlling user access and managing service-level agreements. A CAB can provide a single interface to manage storage, computing, and security services from multiple cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

Devices collect different types of data and not always in favor of the users. Once it comes to your laptop, Sidekick will help you to maintain control over what you want to share and what not. It comes with plenty of focus tricks for productive work and efficient planning and has a great Adblock.