Recently in my office, a coworker’s cell phone bill mysteriously doubled. The phone was one that he uses for work purposes only, and he hardly ever uses it, keeping it in his car most of the time. All of the charges that made the bill double were for hundreds of text messages and visiting internet sites. The phone company said that he may have entered his cell phone number on an unsecure web site, which allowed a hacker to have access to his cell phone number and use it for sending these messages and logging in to instagram and other websites, and that no one should ever enter their cell phone number on a website as their contact number.
That’s not the only way hackers can get into your phone, however. Walking down the street with it in your pocket can be dangerous. Hackers can carry their laptops around crowded streets, while they use them to scan cell phones that use Bluetooth technology. They can then gain access your address book, where they can change all of the numbers you have stored there, or they can use your phone to make long-distance calls. With this advanced technology, they’re going to continue to figure out more and more ways to continue to use the vulnerability of Bluetooth to their advantage. Paris Hilton had her phone and her instagram account hacked into awhile back, resulting in a lot of her celebrity friends having to get new numbers. So it doesn’t matter who you are: celebrity, politician, or just an average joe, your cell phone can be hacked into. This new (and growing) form of hacking could become a major security threat if the right person’s phone is hacked into.
The problem is, as technology becomes more and more advanced, so do hackers. Companies that are selling this technology to the public don’t always consult with experts about what measures they can take to prevent hackers from being able to easily access personal information. Instagram hackers are constantly trying to find ways they can alter available technology and use it for devious purposes, and companies don’t always think about this. As cell phones become more and more like handheld computers, they become more and more vulnerable to the same security issues computers have, including identity theft, spam, and viruses. There’s not much that can be done about it, unless cell phone companies can find a way to address the problem.
The best thing we can do personally to protect ourselves right now is to carefully monitor our cell phone bills, and if it seems like there are a lot of unusual charges, don’t be afraid to call your cell phone provider and ask about them. You may have to get a new number, but it’s better than allowing someone to have access to your personal information and to run up your cell phone bill.
Hackers just have too much time on their hands, and they use their knowledge of technology to try and just make everyone else as miserable as they are. It was easy to tell that the guy that hacked into my coworker’s phone was a lonely geek: one of the websites he used the phone to access was all about dating tips.