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  • Writer's pictureThe DigitalBank Vault

Protecting your smartphone from mobile surveillance

Whether you work at the highest levels of defense and intelligence, are a corporate executive, a medical or legal professional or a barista at a local coffee shop, what’s important to you is worth protecting.

Let’s not kid ourselves, hacking is a highly profitable business. Doesn’t matter if it’s a black-hat, white-hat or gray-hat hacker, there is money to be made. Yes, we’re all aware of the typical hacking crimes where someone tries to steal money from a corporation or re-route funds out of someone’s account or illegally mine cryptocurrency, but it’s bigger than that. Hacking has gone to Wall Street.

In 2018, the infamous Israeli hacking firm NSO Group, which has created numerous iPhone attacks, was the subject of acquisition. The interested parties? First, Verint, a publicly traded billion-dollar security firm. Second, Blackstone, the largest private equity firm in the world with over $400 billion in assets. The asking price for NSO? It was never officially disclosed, but several reports placed the value at over a billion.

Smartphones are the primary source of digital minutes with more than three hours a day being spent on them. We spend the most time on smartphones since they host the majority of the information we need to access on a regular basis – apps, emails, text messages, camera, etc. They’re also easy to travel with and they have loads of communication capabilities, like cellular, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, etc. All of these features and benefits mean they’ll likely continue to be the center of our digital universe.

Smartphones offer much greater rewards than simply siphoning off information, they are being turned into digital spies. Because of the microphones, cameras and RF signals, hackers can now listen to what a user says, see what a user sees, and track where a user goes.

Turning smartphones into spying tools can give your competition/adversary the leg up on anything you want to know as you’re almost never without your phone. Think about all the information users discuss around a smartphone: financial conversations, legal discussions, trade secrets, financial earnings, government meetings (war, politics, taxes, other countries, etc.), personal conversations (health, family, spouse, etc.) and more.

Just remember, with all the benefits a smartphone brings to your life, it can easily be turned against you to gather sensitive information you thought was safe

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