November 5, 2013 | In: Technology

Texting Is Not More Secure than Email

A growing trend is that when someone wants to send someone else the user name and the password to something, and if that something is a top security thing, then they send the username in an email and then they send the password by text (e.g. in an SMS). This weird practice stems from the assumption that all emails are monitored, but text messages are not, and that text messages are encrypted and they are far away from prying eyes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Let me explain…

Back in 2004-2005, I used to work as an IT Manager in an African based mobile operator, and I knew how everything worked from A to Z, including the fact that SMS messages are stored, in plain text, with no encryption whatsoever, in a MySQL database. This meant that anyone who had access to that database was able to read private messages. Where’s the security in that?

While it is true that emails are not better, since companies hosting your email can potentially read them, as well as governmental bodies (note that governmental bodies can also read your SMS), they’re definitely not worse. At least they are not stored somewhere for anyone to read.

Again, this whole post is based on my experience, and if you have something to add, feel free to comment.

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