June 6, 2016 (Jackson, Miss.) - Dr. David O'Gwynn, chair and assistant professor of computer science, shared his expertise about smartphone security for a story with local newspaper The Clarion Ledger. Recently, a video surfaced that showed just how easy it is to hack into an iPhone by stealing someone's fingerprint. Dr. O'Gwynn, a former MIT employee and expert in cyber security, said devices are increasingly under attack and biometrics aren't reliable by themselves.

According to Dr. O'Gwynn,simple steps like two-factor authentication can make devices harder to hack. "Something as little as that, just that much ... the jump in security from just simply enabling two-factor is pretty big. It makes it so much more expensive to compromise an account if you have two-factor turned on."

Further in the article, Dr. O'Gwynn points out other precautions that smartphone users can do to keep their devices and data safe. "You can't just simply rely on a basic built-in security feature.You do need to know a little bit more about it and make sure it's the right security feature for you. ... Security is not a fire-and-forget thing. It's something that you have to be aware of at all times."

While manufacturers install security systems, the responsibility of the security is up to the user. "You have to be on top of your own security and take into account that as much as Apple wants to try to make you as secure as possible through intelligence default, Apple doesn't know you," O'Gwynn said. "Only you know how important your data is, and you need to understand that when push comes to shove, you have to take care of your own security."

In Belhaven's computer science program, Dr. O'Gwynn uses current issues like these to teach students and keep them up-to-date on the latest cyber-security practices. Read the complete article for more helpful tips to protecting your smartphone from Dr. O'Gwynn.