We need to take our privacy and security much more seriously. Whether it's malware-infected apps or the abusive treatment of our data by companies like Facebook, there are threats everywhere in this digital world. Fortunately, some smartphones are simply designed to better protect us.
Once again, a BlackBerry device was on the list of the best phones for privacy and security. BlackBerry, which has always been known for its protection, brought many security enhancements from its old operating system (BB10) to Android when they made the switch. The result is the safest Android smartphone on the market and the best option for privacy-conscious individuals.
1. Hardware Root of Trust & Secure Boot
Protection for the BlackBerry KEY2 begins during production when the processor of each device is equipped with cryptographic keys. These keys are unique to each handset outside the line and critical to the safe startup process.
When you turn on your phone, even before you get your lock screen, every component of the hardware and software is checked for any tampering. If a component fails the test, KEY2 will not boot. This makes it much harder for hackers or law enforcement agencies to circumvent BlackBerry's other security measures.
A strategy of thieves and hackers is to downgrade your phone to an older version of Android to take advantage of legacy security vulnerabilities that were not resolved in the previous version of Android. However, the KEY2 protects against this by preventing an older version of the operating system from being installed – in other words, "rollback protection".
At the heart of every Android operating system version is the Linux kernel. The kernel is an essential component of Android and therefore a high target for hackers. While Android does a great deal to patch vulnerabilities in the kernel, Blackberry continues:
BlackBerry has changed the kernel of KEY2 to remove unnecessary features. BlackBerry also checked earlier exploits, the other Android devices plagued and patched the KEY2 before leaving the factory. And while most Android devices receive monthly security patches from Gooogle, the KEY2 receives additional patches as soon as BlackBerry detects a vulnerability that threatens the integrity of the kernel.
At the time of writing, no Android-powered BlackBerry smartphone was rooted yet. It's BlackBerry's goal to keep it that way. While rooting opens the door for additional functions, the device remains in a compromised state. Without root capability, the KEY2 can avoid exploits that depend on root to compromise the security of your device.
DTEK is KEY2's central hub for all security issues. On the main page, you'll find an ad that shows how safe your device is, along with a list of factors that prevent maximum security.