Mobile Security: How Gadgets Evolved

Still got an old BlackBerry or Compaq laying around? Here's a look at how mobile device security has evolved.

Sharp Dial Master EL-6250H
Credit: Joan Goodchild
1989: Sharp Dial Master EL-6250H

Roseberry says the Dial Master was a telephone book, memo pad, calculator and auto phone dialer with 8KB of memory.

Security feature: Secret key to password-protect items.

RIM Inter@active Pager 950
Credit: Joan Goodchild
1997: RIM Inter@active Pager 950

You've got mail! The pager had a small keyboard and a full mailbox that held more than 500 contacts.

Security features: Just password protection, says Roseberry.

HP 6601x
Credit: Joan Goodchild
1999: HP 6601x

This device connected to the world via PCMCIA WiseCom 56.6kbps modem, an IR Port and a PC docking cradle.

Security features: Password protection similar to that of a PC. Lost your password? Hard reset required — and all data was lost.

Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC
Credit: Joan Goodchild
2000: Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC

Bragdon could put presentations and other sensitive information on the iPAQ.

Security features:Standard Windows password protection, says Roseberry. iPAQ Backup saved data to an external device, compressed or encrypted.

Sony Clie PEG-NX70V/U
Credit: Joan Goodchild
2002: Sony Clie PEG-NX70V/U

"Actually pretty cool," said Bragdon about the multimedia Clie. Included integrated camera and swivel display.

Security features: Data backup to PC, personal information protection and the ability to mask certain data with password protection.

BlackBerry 7100 t
Credit: Joan Goodchild
2004: BlackBerry 7100 t

An early-generation BlackBerry, with no camera or ability to play MP3s. Could send/receive emails, text messages and chat.

Security features: Password protection, device-locking capability, content protection and compression, et cetera.

 Blackberry Curve and the iPhone
Credit: Joan Goodchild
2009: Blackberry Curve and the iPhone

In 2009, Bragdon carried a Blackberry Curve for business and an iPhone for personal calls, emails and non-business other uses. Bragdon said he felt at the time it was important to keep the two devices separate, due to considerations of intellectual property.

"If I walk out the door, who owns it?" he said.

 iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, MacBook Air
Credit: Steve Traynor
2013: iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, MacBook Air

These days Bragdon uses four mobile devices on a daily basis. He still uses an iPhone for personal reasons and a company-issued Blackberry for work. He's also added an iPad, which he uses to read books and watch movies, particularly since he travels frequently.  He is also using a MacBook Air for work.

Security features: Among the many features, all the devices feature password protection and the ability to be able to wipe remotely. The owner can also locate them if they are lost (provided you have downloaded the proper applications in advance).  Bragdon also uses a privacy filter screen on the laptop when he travels.