Feeds

iPhone, BlackBerry, Droid: purveyors of pestilence

Your smartphone wants you dead

Security for virtualized datacentres

Your smartphone or touchscreen tablet is not your friend — not with flu season approaching.

"If you're sharing the device, then you're sharing your influenza with someone else who touches it," warns Stanford University doctoral student Timothy Julian, discussing deadly digital disease-delivery devices with The Sacramento Bee.

Julian was a co-author of a virus-transmission study in Risk Analysis, published by the sure-to-be-the-life-of-the-party guys 'n' gals at the Society for Risk Analysis.

The study by Julian and his band of bug boffins determined that viruses can easly be transmitted by touch — so stop sharing your phone, especially if the person to whom you're about to pass it has rheumy eyes, a raspy voice, or just coughed into their sleeve.

"If you put virus on a surface, like an iPhone, about 30 per cent of it will get on your fingertips," Julian warned, noting that "a fair amount of it may go from your fingers to your eyes, mouth or nose."

Or, as the abstract for his study describes his team's research methodology: "We develop a stochastic-mechanistic model of exposure to rotavirus from nondietary ingestion iterated by simulated intermittent fomes-mouth, hand-mouth, and hand-fomes contacts."

A "fomes", by the way, is the singular of "fomites", which our dictionary defines as "objects or materials that are likely to carry infection, such as clothes, utensils, and furniture."

Or your iPhone, Droid, BlackBerry Torch, iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, or any number of other 21st-century touchscreen plague rats.

Although Julian's study focused on viruses, bacteria also have an affinity for phones. After testing 30 mobile handsets, Which? magazine determined: "Mobile phones can harbour on average 18 times more living bacteria than a flush on a gents' toilet."

Although the Which? testing discovered the highest crud count to be of relatively benign bugs, their "hygiene expert" also turned up other lovelies such as "faecal Coliforms (often associated with faecal matter) and Enterobacteriaceae (which includes bugs such as Salmonella)."

Of course, where there is danger, there is also opportunity — and the accessorizers at Proporta have carped the diem, and added disease defense to their portfolio: the steriTouch line of bug-busting cases for the iPhone and iPod.

A Proporta spokesperson told the Bee: "The filthiest things we encounter on a regular basis are computer keyboards and our mobile phones," claiming with jaw-dropping pathogenetic precision that the average mobile phone has 25,127 germs per square inch.

The conclusion is clear: your touchscreen phone or tablet — or that of your closest mate — is a seething caldron of infectious evil. Touch it, then touch your own sweet self, and pestilence awaits. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
You! AT&T! The only thing 'unlimited' about you is your CHEEK, growl feds
Man, we did everything but knock on their doors - carrier
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
EE launches 150Mbps '4G+' in the heart of London
LTE-A – Faster phones for Hoxton Hipsters
Watch out, Samsung and Apple: Xiaomi's No 3 in smartphones now
From obscurity to selling 19 million mobes a quarter
Brazil greenlights $200m internet cable to Europe in bid to outfox NSA
Only one problem: it won't make the slightest difference. And they know it
Wanna hop carriers with your iPad's Apple SIM? AVOID AT&T
Unless you want your network-swapping tech disabled for good, that is
Knocking Knox: Samsung DENIES vuln claims, says mysterious blogger is a JOKER
But YES, system does store encryption key on the device
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.