Do you really allow your smartphone to hack your life?

personal data
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Since the advent of smartphones, people have been highly influenced by the way phones facilitate their life and it has reached to an extent that smartphones have compiled so much of your personal data that you can’t even imagine. What I said is absolutely true and will leave you shocked when you will read through this post and know how endangered you are with your so-called “smartphone”. 

Did you ever experience that suppose you are looking for a product on Amazon from the past few minutes and then you browse other websites over the internet and surprisingly, on these websites, you start seeing that same product you were looking for on Amazon? I guarantee that all of you have experienced that but I don’t know how many of you had ever given it a thought and really concerned about it? 

Years have passed since your smartphone has been easing you every moment of your life but literally there is “No Gain Without Pain”. 

Your smartphone leaks a huge amount of personal data about you in different ways which you are not aware of at all and you will be amazed to know about these. Let’s look at them here below: 

Location

location tracking as your personal data leak

Every minute, everywhere, activity of millions of people is tracked by smartphones and this information is stored in gigantic data files and one such file is obtained by the New York Times Privacy Project. This data file is by far the largest and most sensitive as per review by tech journalists. It contains more than 50 billion location pings from the phones of more than 12 million Americans. This data shows the precise location of every single smartphone over a period of several months during 2016 and 2017. You will be amazed to know how your location makes your daily routine an open book, how marketers manipulate this data to serve you as their target customer and how it can be life threatening for someone. 

Ads

Your smartphone is flooded with lots of ads guided through different applications. The advertisement algorithms are so sophisticated that they deliver the most appropriate ad to the most appropriate users at the most appropriate locations at the most appropriate time. A series of ads is associated with a specific individual as well as predetermined GPS coordinates.

Ads potential threat to personal data

As the mobile ad business continues to boom — 87 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue, for example, now comes from mobile — it’s worth remembering that the advertisements being served to you are more than just an annoyance. They just might be a threat, as well. 

“Free smartphone apps are not really free. Apps – especially malicious apps – can be used to collect potentially sensitive information and leak personal data about someone simply by hosting ads in the app and observing what is received by a user,” said Wei Meng from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Public Wi-fi

It feels so good whenever your mobile device is able to detect an open wi-fi network and connect to it. You want to take full advantage of this opportunity and immediately start using this open network to access your social media, e-mails, financial accounts and other lots of applications that may contain your personal data. But did you ever bother to think of the substantial harm that this open wi-fi can do to you? 

As per a research, nearly a quarter of smartphones connected to such open wi-fi networks and more than 4% of them faced a man in the middle attack in which a third person is able to access all the information communication between you and the network provider. 

Your social media accounts, emails, bank details and lots of other stuff could be compromised in a matter of few seconds. Public wi-fi networks are highly insecure as they could also run malicious stuff in your smartphone in the backend and compromise with your personal data without you even aware of it. It is suggested that you use public wi-fi only if it is really urgent and restrict your use to only google the things. It is not suggested to access any content where you need to type in your credentials.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is a cool way for fraudsters to get access to your personal data where they don’t struggle to hack your credentials rather, they bait you such that you provide them the required data yourself unknowingly. Email has been the favorite medium for years to trick the users. Though it could be done on desktops and laptops also but smartphones have raised the cases of phishing as users are notified about their emails foremost on their smartphones.  

Moreover, due to the small screen size, limited email text is displayed on the smartphone and the user is not aware of the malicious content within the mail. Although, a user can guess if it is a phishing mail by looking at the content but the prominent placement of action-oriented buttons in mobile email clients and the unfocused, multitasking-oriented manner in which workers tend to use smartphones amplify the effect — and the fact that the majority of web traffic is generally now happening on mobile devices only further encourages attackers to target that front.     

According to an IBM study, users are 3 times more likely to respond to a phishing attack on a mobile device than a desktop. Verizon has previously reported that 15% of users who are successfully phished will be phished at least one more time within the same year.

Wandera, an enterprise security firm in its latest mobile threat report, told that 83% of phishing attacks over the past year took place outside the inbox – in text messages or in apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp along with a variety of games and social media services.

Have you ever been victim of any such hack or do you have any suggestions or experiences on this? Please type in the comments section below.

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