To help protect our riders as they shop online this holiday season and beyond, Metro and the city of Los Angeles have announced the launch and public availability of “LA Secure,” a free app for Apple iOS and Android platforms. The app will help protect Metro riders and other L.A. County residents and visitors from growing cybersecurity threats on public Wi-Fi systems.
LA Secure provides people with immediate protection against new and evolving threats on their mobile device. After the application is downloaded and installed, it alerts a device user to threats in real time and offers information on what to do about those threats. For example, if someone tries to connect to a rogue Wi-Fi network, LA Secure will alert them about this security risk immediately. In addition, phishing protection provided by LA Secure guards against malicious links and enables people to check the safety and legitimacy of suspicious links before clicking on them.
The app is part of Metro’s ongoing efforts to improve the customer experience. This includes an enhancement that continuously validates all web connections on their mobile devices, enabling them to securely shop online, get work done, use social media, check on connecting buses or trains and contact loved ones in the event of an emergency. Today, all of Metro’s 2,300+ transit buses operating in L.A. County offer free public Wi-Fi access to customers.
In addition to the app, the LA Cyber Lab promotes cyber security awareness and offers support to local businesses and government agencies and the City’s Get Connected initiative provides information on free and low-cost internet options, devices, and training.
As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more people depend on their mobile devices on a daily basis. Today, nearly half of all web traffic in the United States originates from mobile devices and smartphones have become an integral part of day-to-day life.
Attackers are increasingly targeting mobile devices because they do not yet have the protection available on most desktop or laptop computers. New and constantly evolving threats require patches and updates to mobile operating systems that many users don’t consistently install. And in some cases, hardware limitations on dated devices can prevent any future updates, leaving them perpetually vulnerable. In addition, the ease of “sideloading” applications, or installing apps that have not been through the security checks required of those available in official app stores, is another unique vulnerability that heightens risk in mobile environments.
LA Secure was developed by Zimperium, a leader in mobile security and protection, and is designed to secure devices against even the most advanced threats. LA Secure is available now and is free to download in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
For more information, please visit http://www.metro.net.
“Providing a safe and secure environment for Los Angeles County’s 10 million residents to live and work is becoming just as important online as it has always been offline,” said Hilda L. Solis, Metro Board Chair and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor to the First District. “As L.A. County continues to expand public Wi-Fi access, including on its entire fleet of Metro buses, LA Secure offers an industry-leading technology to ensure all the activity they conduct on their mobile devices remains safe, private and secure.”
“The City and County of Los Angeles have a responsibility to protect residents in both the physical and the digital realms – and it’s a responsibility we take very seriously,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Through LA Secure, we’re making good on that commitment and empowering people with the resources they need to stay safe online.”
“We are excited to offer the gift of online security to our customers this holiday season. We see LA Secure as another opportunity to provide greater access and equity for our transit customers, many of whom are low-income, do not have their own access to Internet services and depend greatly on public Wi-Fi services,” said Metro CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins. “We believe everyone deserves to have a secure online experience on our system and look forward to promoting privacy protections available through this important program.”
Note for readers and editors: Metro Operators are crucial to keeping LA moving. Metro is currently hiring more than 500 bus operators and is offering a $3,000 bonus for coming aboard. This is a great career opportunity. Metro offers competitive hourly rates starting at $17.75 for a 30-hour job as bus operators with benefits that include health insurance, tuition reimbursements, paid training, retirement plan options and flexible working hours. Please encourage friends, family and community members to become a part of the Metro team that provides excellence in service and support and keeps our region moving. Apply at metro.net/driveLA.
You know where I do feel a strong sense of danger? Your train lines after 8pm! How about focusing your resources on that instead!?
Also, just so you know, your drivers and some of your patrons (and I am not talking about your homeless and mentally unstable patrons either) are still maskless at times, so just know that your lack of enforcement of the federal mask mandate has indirectly led to the infection and possibly worse for some people who have no choice but to rely on transit. . . just some food for thought.
I hope that Metro is not spending any money on this. It’s not Metro’s function to be the phone nanny.