Why iPhone Security is Not Enough to Keep Hackers at Bay

Apple has made quite a name for itself over the years and there is a large fan base that waits for anything new from the tech giants. The security built into Apple products is hailed as impeccable by its loyalists, but are the walls and padlocks built into the products sufficient to keep the snoops at bay? The debate on this has been going on for many years now. Skilled hackers may not have much trouble in cracking the code and breaking into the device, whereas an average Joe may simply turn to an iPhone spy app to make a complete mockery of iPhone security. You can become victim of this especially from the people who are close to you, such as spouse, friends or parents. If you’re wondering if your iPhone is truly safe from snoops, you are about to get your confusion cleared.

Hackers

The first and foremost threat that every mobile user faces is from the hackers because their skill in tunneling through the digital defenses. If you aren’t careful when using your phone, then there’s a chance that might click on some link that may invite malware on to your device. It has happened a lot of times as the people using the internet are pretty careless and click on the links that they aren’t supposed to. Hackers capitalize on this carelessness by hiding their files beneath some links that seem harmless on the surface, but as soon as you click on them, a malware enters into your device. Then your phone is totally at the mercy of the hacker and if there’s any personal information available on your phone, the hacker can get access to it as well. This is a big issue, but it can be avoided rather easily if you use the internet smartly. It is advised that you don’t download anything from a non-certified or unverified website, don’t click on any unknown link, and don’t get duped by exciting e-mails from unknown senders. If you are smart enough, you will be able to avoid hackers and stay safe.

Over-Reliance on Security Apps

We realize the threat of being snooped on, and to avoid such thing from happening, we seek out different security apps that we hope will keep our device safe and secure. Most of the apps falling in this category successfully do their task but only for a limited time. This happens because new type of malware and viruses arrive on the internet on regular basis and if the antivirus software that you’re using is not updated regularly to deal with the newer versions of these threats, then your device is susceptible to getting infected rather easily.

Monitoring Apps

There are a lot of monitoring apps available nowadays and they all do a pretty good job of tracking personal information. If someone has access to your phone, then they can easily install a monitoring app on them without you finding out. After the app is installed, the person who downloaded the app will be able to see all of your call logs, messages, social networking activities, and basically everything that you do on your phone. This is why it is advised that you keep your phone close to yourself so that you can rest easy knowing that your phone is safe.

Spying Apps: The Ethical Approach

Kids value their privacy and are bound to react strongly when they find it threatened or breached. If you think your child will be okay with you snooping on his personal life, you are in for a disappointment. Unfortunately, many parents show little regard for their kids’ reservations over breach of privacy and use monitoring tools like iPhone spy app to track their activities with the intended motivation of keeping them safe. While the intention is not wrong, the method is. The right way is the ethical way. If you are not aware of what it is yet, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s look at some of the things that you must do in order to keep your use of spy apps ethical.

Win the Trust and Confidence of Kids

According to a study done on the Japanese school students and their parents, kids showed their willingness to use a spy or monitoring app in their laptop and mobile phones only when there is a relationship of trust and confidence between them and their parents. The latter must make it a point to take kids into confidence, and should also explain to them that they are monitoring their devices for their own protection, and not for controlling them. Parents must also assure their youngsters that their privacy will be respected.

Set Ground Rules

A 2014 study published in Journal of Surveillance and Society revealed some interesting facts. This study was based on resistance faced by parents while using parental control and spy apps. The results showed that kids have a few concerns which need to be resolved in order to get them to agree on the use of tracking tools. It was mentioned that most of the kids become angry on idea of using monitoring apps because they do not want to feel that they are being controlled and monitored by the parents all the times. It was suggested in the study that parents should set ground rules in order to avoid any issue. Let’s take a look at a few ground rules that will be able to help you monitoring your kids with attracting their wrath.

Think of Mutual Benefit

Is your kid asking for a mobile phone or laptop, and you are resisting because you think he is too young for it? Well, give him what he wants. The best way to spy on kids without annoying them is thinking of mutual benefit. Keeping kids away from technology, even if to protect them from cyberbullying and other crimes, is never a good idea. You may tell the kids that you will allow them to keep personal mobiles and laptops only, if they allow you to monitor those devices. Believe it or not, they will accept this offer happily.

How You Spy also Matters

Spy software allows parents to read the text messages received and sent, listen to calls, read Skype, Gmail, Yahoo and Facebook chat etc. The purpose of sharing this information is to update parents about their kid activities. Kids do not like their parents to be over-protective or telling them what to do and what not to. Reading personal conversation of kids with their close friends and then pointing out their mistakes in front of their siblings is never appreciated. In the same way, monitoring the kids without their consent or without taking them into confidence is also not a good idea. In nutshell, the way parents spy plays an important role. There is no harm in monitoring the kids’ devices as long as they know about it.

Only Parents should have Access to Data

Kids also have their own privacy. They, like us adults, do not want others to know personal things about them, so parents should make sure that no one else gets access to the database or dashboard of spy app whether it is uncle, aunt or any other relative.

Kids of today’s age are smarter; they will definitely understand that monitoring their online activities is for their own good. Parents must keep the doors of communication open to avoid any problem, as different kids react differently to monitoring and spying their online activities.

iPhone Jailbreak: Why it’s Such a Bad Idea

Hackers are always looking for new ways to get access to iPhones. They use iPhone spy app and various other tools to get unsolicited access to someone’s private data. That is just one of the many risks that phone users face in today’s time and age. Apple’s flagship phone attempts to keep these threats at bay through its strong security firewall which is updated by the tech giant on regular basis for better protection. Unfortunately, some adventurous people cross the boundaries by jailbreaking their phone, increasing their device’s vulnerability to all kinds of risks.

What really is iPhone Jailbreak?

Apple restricts apps to use information present on an iPhone up to a great extent. This extra layer of security is added for user protection. Jailbreaking the iPhone simply means freeing your iPhone from all these restrictions. This may sound tempting to some people, but it has serious consequences. A jailbroken iPhone gives an additional access privileges to apps, leaving your sensitive information exposed.

Drawbacks of iPhone Jailbreaking

If you are considering to jailbreak your phone, then do prepare yourself to pay the price for the extra bit of freedom. Here’s a glimpse of some of the major drawbacks of tampering with the original software.

Increase in Security Threats: The biggest selling point of iPhone is its strong security features. This security, however, is lost immediately once you jailbreak your device. The first thing people do after jailbreaking their phone is to download their favorite apps from platforms like Cydia, which is a well-known third-party app store. This is similar to digging your own grave as most of the apps taken from non-Apple app stores are not safe. They get direct access to all the information present in your phone, which may then be misused.

Decrease in Battery Timing: Jailbreaking does not directly decrease the battery life of your phone, but the apps, tweaks and updates you receive do that. Apple’s official digital market App Store makes sure that the apps available in it are safe to use and do not drain too much battery, but third-party stores do not take these things into consideration.

Exposure to Viruses and Malware: Recently, a malware named AdThief was detected in an app downloaded from Cydia. This malware stole hundreds of dollars through fraud. The money was taken from app developers who created ads for generating revenues from different apps. The victims consisted solely of jailbroken iPhones. In the same way, a Tech team from Georgia pointed out another malicious app known as Jekyll which was able to successfully pass through iOS defenses. These examples are just a few of the many that highlight the increased susceptibility of Apple devices to malware once jailbroken.

System Updates Leaves you empty handed: Apple does not like the idea of jailbreaking as it’s the image of its products that is at stake. This is why it keeps on updating its iPhones. If you are planning to jailbreak your phone, then you need to know that Apple does not release updates for jailbroken devices. Your iPhone will become outdated, which in other words means that it will become even more insecure and lose its worth. You will need to get rid of jailbreaking to recent updates.

Increased Chances of Crashing: The best thing about iPhone is that unlike smartphones, it hardly crashes. Things completely change after jailbreaking though. The device becomes vulnerable to viruses and malware, which makes it slow. Some apps are so heavy that they not only drain the battery, but also sometimes cause the phone to crash.

Lose the right to claim warranty: You lose the warranty claim and support services offered by Apple after you jailbreak your iPhone. In fact, it almost disowns its product after it has been tampered with. You have to remove the jailbreak in order to claim warranty, but chances are you won’t need to claim it after switching back as majority of the problems will vanish.

Let’s just accept it that jailbreak has more harm than benefit. It’s okay to like freedom, but sometimes the price just isn’t worth it. Are you willing to put your device and security of your data at stake and spend money on third-party apps when you have the option of enjoying a complete smartphone experience on the stock iPhone device? Think for a minute before rushing to a decision.

The Menace Of Identity Theft

In this modern world our lives are amazingly connected. Just about every other side of what we are is connected to something or the other in the computerized world. But if we are not alert and vigilant while using our identity to connect, it can be used for illegal purposes if it gets in the wrong hands.

Identity theft can prove to be quite harmful particularly to your money and even your credit situation if you’re not alert and cautious. These law offenders start controlling your personal bank accounts and private information on sites like PayPal. Identity thieves can end up opening new accounts by using your name and then send you the bill after carrying out the expenditures. During the year 2013, in excess of 13 million individuals succumbed to this criminal offense. Within that year losses of more than $18 billion were reported because of this fraud.

Ways To Avoid Identity Theft

Begin by being more responsible in terms of how you make use of your data. Avoid using the wrong sort of data in the wrong place and protect your personal information at all times. For example, utilizing your social security as your identification on websites is the worst possible idea. Most bank accounts are accessible with only the provision of the social security number. You need to make sure you never do this and you should also inform your bank never to accept only the SSN as the access pass for the account. An identity thief can easily get his hands on a SSN therefore individuals should be careful before handing out private information like this. SSN should not be provided unless it is completely essential.

In the event that a considerable amount of your data is online then you ought to make it decently secured. You need to protect your data with the use of tough passwords but that’s not enough. Whenever possible, you should make use of the multifactor authentication. Obviously having a strong password isn’t sufficient therefore you need to change it after a period of time to perfectly secure your data.

Take special care of your email inbox. Sometimes suspicious emails end up in your inbox which are not from a familiar source. At whatever point an email requests private data, disregard it and check directly from the site whether such a request was made. Make sure never to click on links attached in such emails, in its place you should check their address to be correct or not.

You should always update your security providing applications such as firewalls or antiviruses. If you do not pay attention to the security of your computer or phone, then no one is at fault but you alone. Be sure not to make use of operating systems or versions of programs that do not get any updates. For example, an individual using Microsoft XP will surely suffer, as at the start of this year Microsoft stopped supporting this OS.

Overall you should simply execute wise practices on the web. To finish the threats and dangers of the digital world is somewhat impossible but you can always attempt to be more vigilant so you can stay far from most types of risks.

 

How Passwords Can Guarantee Online Security

A password should be something which is changed after every 6 months. With the state of technology today, this is something which everyone should do especially with the growing number of hackers and breaches in computer systems. A password can certainly help protect data and online accounts.

People tend to have a number of user accounts and tend to use the same password for each. Lee Ryan who is the owner of NexLynx says that every password needs to be unique and should consist of at least 8 or more characters which includes lower case and upper case letters, numbers and special characters. This is what makes a password strong. It would also be a good idea to come up with a phrase and then to make a password out of the first letter of each word in the phrase. This will create a password which will only make sense to you but not to others.

It should also be kept in mind that hackers are now better than ever at cracking passwords. This method of hacking is very common and is used to break into a number of user accounts. Lee Ryan also stated that he and his staff have been having a difficult time in ensuring that their customers create a password which is not only unique but strong as well. He wishes for them to create a more complicated password t o prevent their accounts being hacked. A number of customers have also been forcefully made to change their passwords and keep ones which are slightly more complex.

He even stated that corporations and entities of the government also require their own employees to change passwords after every 90 days and this is something which is a standard in the industry. IT experts also hold a unanimous opinion that passwords shouldn’t be written down even if the user believes that it is being kept in a safe place.

He also states that while passwords can be created for a number of accounts, the key is how they can be managed? He suggests that storing passwords on a flash drive is a good idea and this feature is also offered by some online management applications which can be looked into.

Amongst some of the more popular password managers available today are the 1Password, the Keeper, Dashlane and PasswordBox according to Jefferson Graham who wrote in USA Today in April of this year on the topic.

He also said that such password managing applications create a master password which manages all other passwords as well as helps in generating a password which is new and strong. This password then gets encrypted and stored and the user is no longer required to type down all the passwords in the computer. All applications however aren’t free.

The LastPass charges a fee of $12 per year; Dashlane charges $29.99 annually and PasswordBox allows 25 passwords to be stored only however if this limit is exceeded, the user is charged $11.99 annually.

Advice has also been provided by the How-To-Geek technology website on how passwords can be protected. They suggest that online accounts should have separate passwords for them because if one is hacked then the hacker can have access to all accounts. The password shouldn’t be the name of a pet, child, parents etc which could be guessed easily and lastly, the security question for every account should be one which is unique and should also be written down to be remembered. The question should be a strong one whose answer others cannot figure out and which isn’t too hard to remember either.