In a new LA Times article security researchers Nick DePetrillo and Don Bailey have discovered a seven-digit numerical code that can unlock all kinds of secrets about you.
It’s your phone number.
Using relatively simple and some old-school techniques almost anyone can hack into your smart phone. With the new wave of cellphone applications and a lack in cell phone security, you are leaving your mobile device vulnerable to identity spies and thieves. Anyone, trustworthy or not, can create an iPhone application and with over 250,000 apps people are doing just that. How do you know that the application you are downloading and allowing to access your cellphone is legitimate? In most cases – you don’t.
Apple says they do certify the security of every application they offer in their app store, but acknowledges that malicious applications have snuck through. The Android Marketplace and Blackberry App World place users in charge of their own security. Some of these malicious apps can track your location, read your text messages, listen to your voicemail and one was able to turn on your microphone to eavesdrop on the user.
Of course all of the application stores will remove false apps when they are aware of them, but it can sometimes be too little to late. When downloading applications do your research. Know which can be trusted and which should be avoided. If an application for a news site or game asks for permission to access your text messages your privacy reflex should go off telling you that they don’t need that information.
Always remember that common sense is your best defense against malicious attacks and identity thieves.
John Sileo became America’s leading Identity Theft Speaker & Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer, the FTC and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.