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.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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.
Featured/top image courtesy of Relexahotels via Pixabay