Everyone who has ever played Monopoly covets the “Get Out of Jail Free” card. It’s instant freedom. Some people like to “jailbreak” their cellphones for the instant freedom of doing something a manufacturer or carrier never intended. But if you jailbreak a phone or other device, you’ll likely never pass go and collect $200 – nor will you find free parking. You and others are more likely to pay a lot of rent.
Here’s why, and it’s very simple. Most updates for phones, tablets and computers – if not all – revolve around security. With so many more hackers using more sophisticated tools to get inside of any system, security is a preoccupation. Whenever you jailbreak a device, you open a hole for someone to breach.
It wouldn’t be that bad if a security issued affected the owner who jailbroke a device. Unfortunately, this can go viral very fast. Let’s look at one possibility – and you may never look at your babysitter the same way after this.
People jailbreak devices to get application feature sets, among other reasons. It could be that a high school or college student jailbreaks a phone to download music. Now, let’s say you and your babysitter use smartphone apps so you can transfer funds to pay up at the end of the night. There is no way for you to know if someone has used that security breach in the download app to get into your babysitter’s financial information. If they have, they could use that information to trace your bank account that’s associated with your phone.
But it’s not just your babysitter. Anybody who uses the convenience of paperless money transfer can be vulnerable to a security breach if one of you has jailbroken your device. We recently saw an article in a British newspaper about 250,000 iPhones being hacked as the result of Apple Pay transactions. The article had a sensationalistic tone, but once you got past that, it was easy to see that all hacked phones had been jailbroken.
If you use Google Wallet, the Android platform, you face the same hacking risk if you jailbroke your phone. In our “tap-and-go” world of speed and convenience, it won’t matter how secure the payment system is if your phone is the weak link.
So, your safety is very simple. Don’t jailbreak your phone, and be very careful about where and with whom you do on-demand business. I, for one, have a pretty high level of understanding about what goes in the electronic netherworld where hackers play, and I would never be foolhardy enough to think I could beat them at their game.
If you have a jailbroken phone and want to relock it, we can walk you through a procedure. However, be aware that once you start the process, it’s irreversible, and you will delete all information, files and settings on your phone. If you want to re-lock a SIM card, it must be done by your carrier. Only they have the software to restore factory settings for their network. If you are buying a used cell phone, we can help you with the process to make it safe and secure. We can answer any questions you may have about cell phone security. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or send us an email