News

Caution! Your cell phone might be peeping your activities and information

You put your information at high risk by allowing third-party apps to access your smartphone data.

It results factual that cell phones have become incredibly important in our life, to the point where we care so much about these devices, and it even seems like we need them now more than ever.

But do we take all the necessary precautions that are needed in order to avoid the loss of privacy? As a matter of fact, we actually allow lots of applications to access our information and interact with it in a way they don’t need to.

smartphone might be snooping on you
An innocent-looking email could be all that’d be needed to comprise the privacy of yours – accessing your call logs, microphone, camera, bank details, current location and everything in between that’s utterly personal to you.

With a simple trick applications ask us to grant them permissions they do not need, and as a helpless prey, we take a bite of the bait. For instance, we can see applications designed to be interactive games, wanting to have permissions for managing the camera or contact info.

Let’s break the trick and explain how does this work!

Self-location features

One of the main characteristics of a cell phone is the capability of self-location, a feature that even being disabled could still operate, and consequently, pinpoint your location on a map.

Your smartphone can use a surveillance technique to locate itself in the cell towers, or on the other hand, use the integrated GPS; and either both actions can lead to providing third parties with the information they don’t need to have – like for instance what your current position is.

Scammy applications

Every day we download a significant number of applications, but do we make sure of one’s source prior downloading it?

We can not be running the risk of allowing a third party to have unnecessary information, so we fervently recommend you to only download those applications you know for a fact are not malicious, and instead are the apps supported by a trustable source (like Google Play or Apple iTunes).

Spying cameras

Another possibility is that someone accesses your camera and manipulates it physically or remotely, which is, in fact, a probable action according to Kevin Mitnick, a security consultant who has worked as author and hacker in apps development.

Dodgy flashlight apps

For those cell phones that still don’t have integrated a flashlight function, there’s no other option than downloading a flashlight app in order to access the helpful feature. Nonetheless, in most of the cases, this turns into an app that works undercover to steal information from your phone.

As a matter of fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently decided to strike on the application “Brightest Flashlight” in the US, an app that was deluding its users in regards to the geolocation info related to advertising networks.

Luckily, this is something that can be tracked by the security systems of software companies, but contrary to it, regular users still can’t, which of course puts them in a position of potential targets.

However, some measurements are being taken in this matter. Companies such as Optimus Infracom, the official licensing partner for Blackberry, are working hard to develop more secure systems for the devices.

For instance, all of the smartphones designed by the company are now released with the security app DTEK integrated, an app that collaborates with the users providing them a safer configuration of the system.

But anyone’s effort (such as Blackberry in this case), does not give you a permit to become careless about your smartphone security – you are the one responsible for your privacy protection!

Featured/top image courtesy of Relexahotels via Pixabay

Ali Qamar
the authorAli Qamar
Editor
Ali is an Internet security and tech enthusiast who enjoys "deep" research to dig out modern discoveries in the tech and security industry. Before turning to tech and security, he worked in marketing and management sector. He is passionate about sharing the knowledge with people and always try to give only the best.

Leave a Reply