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To help protect riders, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and city of Los Angeles have launched LA Secure, a free mobile security application 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 mobile devices. After the application is downloaded and installed, it alerts users to threats in real time and offers information on what to do about threats. For example, if someone tries to connect to a rogue Wi-Fi network, LA Secure will alert them about the security risk immediately. Also, 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.
“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 Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, 1st District, who also serves as chair of the Metro Board. “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 app is part of Metro’s ongoing effort to improve customer experience. This includes an enhancement that continuously validates all web connections on their mobile devices, enabling riders to securely shop online, work, use social media, check on connecting buses or trains and contact loved ones while in transit. All of Metro’s 2,300 transit buses offer free public Wi-Fi access.
In addition to the app, the LA Cyber Lab promotes cyber security awareness and offers support to local businesses and government agencies. The city’s Get Connected initiative provides information on free and low-cost internet options, devices and training.
“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,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Through LA Secure, we’re making good on that commitment and empowering people with the resources they need to stay safe online.”
As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more people depend on their mobile devices on a daily basis. Cyber attackers are increasingly targeting mobile devices because they do not yet have the protection available included 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.
“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,” Metro CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins said. “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.”
LA Secure was developed by Zimperium, a mobile security and protection company, and is available for free download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. For information, visit metro.net.
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