Fandango Provocative Question – Privacy and hacking

Fandango is the host of Fandango Provocative Question

FPQ

Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question.

My provocative question this week stems from some disturbing articles I’ve been reading about spyware called Pegasus, which was developed by an Israeli cyberarms firm. Pegasus is spyware that can be covertly installed on mobile phones and tablets running most versions of iOS and Android. It exploits vulnerabilities on those operating systems.

According to the Washington Post and other prominent media sources, Pegasus not only enables the keystroke monitoring of all communications from a phone (texts, emails, web searches), but it also enables phone call and location tracking, as well as the ability hijack both the mobile phone’s microphone and camera, thus turning it into a constant surveillance device.

In short, Pegasus in a highly invasive tool, and can spy on almost any device and any social media networks and messaging apps. So far, it has been used by some, shall we say, unscrupulous governments to monitor smartphones belonging primarily to journalists, activists, business executives, lawyers, government officials, and perceived “enemies of the state.”

Knowing that spyware like Pegasus is out there, and that it can be used to hijack your smartphone, record your keystrokes, your voice communications, and your camera without any actions or knowledge on your part, my proactive question is…

How vulnerable do you feel about potential hacks or intrusions while using your smartphone? And if you do feel vulnerable, what steps, if any, are you taking to protect yourself and your data?

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This is a very disturbing and scary idea. That someone out there can hack into my phone, laptop, or social media account and monitor my activity. That they can hack into my private files and steal my information is even more scary!

My only solace is that I am not that important, interesting, or wealthy to warrant that kind of attention. There have been attempts from hackers to gain my passwords by pretending to call from my bank but since the bank keeps on warning us not to give any information on phone or email, I was saved from doing that. We are also told that the bank never calls or emails us to ask for sensitive information.

I take other steps to make sure that my phone cannot be used by unauthorized persons. And I keep away from questionable websites. But having said that, one never knows when a virus, firmware, or spyware can sneak into our devices.

And in that eventuality, I don’t think that I can do anything to protect my data. So as I said, I console myself by telling myself that no one is interested in me or my data and won’t attempt to hijack it.

Perhaps a hollow consolation?

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#Keepitalive

#FPQ

29 thoughts on “Fandango Provocative Question – Privacy and hacking

  1. It’ll be long…
    First of all, there’s nothing to be afraid of about Pegasus if you’re a civilian.
    NSO, the company that developed it, provides it only to gov. organizations.
    It means your neighbor can’t spy on you.
    The cost of spying on one person is approximately 1 crore INR. (1,34,376 USD). So, before spying on us, there will be some calculation of being worthy enough to be spied.

    Coming to normal hacks, malware & data breaching, there are people with god knows what level of resources, who can infiltrate our devices but the level isn’t as dangerous as Pegasus.

    Solutions from the similar field guy-
    I urge everyone reading this comment to uninstall the true-caller application right now if you haven’t already.
    Always put special characters within your passwords. Don’t receive any anonymous voice & video calls on WhatsApp.
    Don’t log in to any social account on a web browser. Always log in on an application.

    Last but not least~ Privacy is almost a myth, watch out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Tanishq for your expert advice. You’re very knowledgeable in this aspect of privacy piracy. I think we take precautions, as many as we can and then leave it in the hands of fate. I protect my passwords and change them frequently. I use apps while doing online transactions. And use the option of payment on delivery, if available.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have heard that Grammarly records all our keystrokes. And I’m not sure if it’s just on the material we want grammar checked, or if it does that in the background. If so, it would record your log in information for banking, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When we install any app, it requires our permission to access the phone camera, log etc. if you refuse the permission, it is not installed. I figure that all app record our data. But as long as we are not involved in any shady activities, we are perhaps okay!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If we worry too much about the maybe’s and what-ifs, we risk becoming afraid of just being alive. I do what I can to be cyber safe but realize there is always someone working on a way to spy on us. If they spy on me they will be bored out of their minds. 😼

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My worry is not what I do, but what others do with whom I do business. It’s not like just one group has been hacked. My BANK was hacked. Adobe was hacked. LL Bean and Lands’ End were both hacked. Facebook and Experian were hacked and some of them, multiple times. Entire cities and electrical system have been hacked. Forget Pegasus. The hackers don’t need anything that expensive — and they don’t need you to be a “target.” They just need your numbers, whatever they are. And YOU don’t have to be the person giving the information.

    Liked by 1 person

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