Unless you take other measures... Bruce Schneier comments on the enormous SIM card hack where the NSA and its English partner GCHQ have hacked the 'secure' SIM card manufacturer Gemalto and now own the encryption keys for billions of cards. Bruce is a very respected security guy and all of the folks in that community have their hair on fire these days. The Intercept piece Bruce links to is worth reading. You can't trust your mobile provider for security.
from the Intercept piece
PRIVACY ADVOCATES and security experts say it would take billions of dollars, significant political pressure, and several years to fix the fundamental security flaws in the current mobile phone system that NSA, GCHQ and other intelligence agencies regularly exploit.
A current gaping hole in the protection of mobile communications is that cellphones and wireless network providers do not support the use of Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS), a form of encryption designed to limit the damage caused by theft or disclosure of encryption keys. PFS, which is now built into modern web browsers and used by sites like Google and Twitter, works by generating unique encryption keys for each communication or message, which are then discarded. Rather than using the same encryption key to protect years’ worth of data, as the permanent Kis on SIM cards can, a new key might be generated each minute, hour or day, and then promptly destroyed. Because cellphone communications do not utilize PFS, if an intelligence agency has been “passively” intercepting someone’s communications for a year and later acquires the permanent encryption key, it can go back and decrypt all of those communications. If mobile phone networks were using PFS, that would not be possible — even if the permanent keys were later stolen.
The only effective way for individuals to protect themselves from Ki theft-enabled surveillance is to use secure communications software, rather than relying on SIM card-based security. Secure software includes email and other apps that use Transport Layer Security (TLS), the mechanism underlying the secure HTTPS web protocol. The email clients included with Android phones and iPhones support TLS, as do large email providers like Yahoo and Google.
Apps like TextSecure and Silent Text are secure alternatives to SMS messages, while Signal, RedPhone and Silent Phone encrypt voice calls. Governments still may be able to intercept communications, but reading or listening to them would require hacking a specific handset, obtaining internal data from an email provider, or installing a bug in a room to record the conversations.
“We need to stop assuming that the phone companies will provide us with a secure method of making calls or exchanging text messages,” says Soghoian.
An evidence-based approach to an ancient pursuit: systematic review on converting online contact into a first date
Khalid S Khan1, Sameer Chaudhry2
1Barts and the London School of Medicine, London, UK
2University of North Texas, Dallas, Texas, UK
Objective To determine, for people seeking a date online, what activities and behaviours have an effect on the chances of converting electronic communication into a face-to-face meeting.
Methods Literature in psychology, sociology, and computer, behavioural and neurocognitive sciences that informed effective online dating was captured through electronic searching of Psychinfo, Medline and Embase in November 2013. Study selection and meta-narrative synthesis were carried out in duplicate.
Results There were 3938 initial citations and 86 studies were synthesised. Initial interest was best captured through: a desirable screen name starting with a letter in the top half of the alphabet; an attractive still picture; and a fluent headline message. For those attracted to browse into the profile, a description of personal traits increased likeability when it: showed who the dater was and what they were looking for in a 70:30 ratio; stayed close to reality; and employed simple language with humour added. Invitations were most successful in obtaining a response from the potential date when they: were short personalised messages addressing a trait in their profile; rhymed with their screen name or headline message; and extended genuine compliments. Online communication was most effective in leading to an in-person meeting if there were: a genuine interest; a rapid turnaround; reciprocity in self-disclosure; mimicry of body movements on the webcam; avoidance of criticism; humour; uncertainty about whether there was likeability; and an early move from electronic chat to a date.
Conclusions Attraction and persuasion research provides an evidence-based approach to online dating.
The paper is inside their paywall, but has specific recommendations for those in the dating market. for example:
Primary photo: In the absence of prior acquaintance, attire and physical appearance in still photos have a powerful influence on likeability.15–17 A genuine smile, one that crinkles up your eyes, will make a good first impression.18 19 A slight tilt of the head can also enhance attractiveness.20 Choice of red in a woman21 enhances men’s attraction leading to significantly more contacts. Photo-similarity effect14 may be used in the same way as that described for screen name.
Headline message: Simple language, not overcomplicated wording, is likely to result in significantly higher ratings of intelligence because people are naturally drawn to words that are easy to remember and pronounce. 22 23 It makes information-processing easier, which also increases likeability. Overall attractiveness of the text is positively correlated with photo attractiveness. 24 If you can get the potential date to stop and think about your headline message, increasing the exposure time to the primary photo, this will increase their liking.25
Photo gallery: Group photos showing other people having a good time in your company are desirable.26 Women find a man more attractive when they see other women smiling at him.26 Capitalising on the centrestage effect by selecting photos where you are in the middle creates a sense of importance.27 This can be further enhanced in group photos where you are shown touching another person (confining this to the upper arm to be socially acceptable).28 29 This is because a toucher is perceived to be of higher status than the one touched.29 Dynamic video clips can be more realistic than still photos and may promote familiarity at the first face-to-face encounter.30
Scientists worldwide also have expressed doubts about the project. For example, the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) wrote that the canal will affect “some 4,000 square kilometers of forest, coast and wetlands,” which include the system of wetlands of San Miguelito (protected area under The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, aka Ramsar Convention, which Nicaragua signed); the Cerro Silva Natural Reserve; the Río San Juan Biosphere Reserve, which contains seven protected areas, including the Los Guatuzos Wildlife Reserve, the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve and the Solentiname Archipelago.
According to ATBC’s statement, this network of reserves “is the habitat of at least 22 species that are vulnerable and in danger of extinction, according to the Red List of [Threatened Species issued by] the IUCN [International Union for Conservation of Nature], including tapirs, jaguars, turtles, marine life, corals and other species; some of the rarest and untouched surviving mangroves, coral reefs, dry forests, rainforests and lakeside habitats that still exist in Central America.” The statement also said, “The Mesoamerican Biological corridor, designed by governments in the region, would be split in half, and the canal and its infrastructure would create a huge barrier to the movement of plants and animals.” The international body warned the time has come to “suspend all activity related to the construction of the canal and its subprojects until the conclusion of independent studies and all concerns are adequately addressed.”
Perhaps the most import comment is if they keep you moving and don't encourage overeating, they can be a good thing. But those may be difficult conditions for wide spread use. 'You can't outrun your fork' - light exercisers often eat more than they burn.