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'Spyware Tapping:' Your Privacy May Be At Risk By Your Cell Phone

This is disturbing. WTHR television (Indianapolis, Indiana) produced an investigative video about the privacy risks by cell phones infected with spyware. I encourage everyone to watch the WTHR video.

"... more than a dozen companies to sell this type of cell phone spy software, which ranges in price from $60 to $3,000. The majority of the companies are located in foreign countries such as Thailand, Taiwan and the United Kingdom - and for good reason. Most of the advertised applications for the spy software are illegal in the United States, and the existence of the software angers CTIA-The Wireless Association, an industry organization representing the nation's major cell phone manufacturers."

What consumers can do to protect their privacy and sensitive personal data:

... keep a close eye on your cell phone so that others never get an opportunity to download information such as spy software when you're not looking... install a security password on your phone to restrict anyone else from using it... high-end cell phones that include internet access and online capability are particularly vulnerable to Spyware tapping... choose a cell phone that is not internet-accessible... remove the battery from your cell phone when it's not being used and, for sensitive phone calls, he suggests making them on a newly-purchased cell phone that comes with a pre-paid month-to-month service plan."

How to tell if your cell phone has already been infected with spyware:

"- Cell phone battery is warm even when your phone has not been used
- Cell phone lights up at unexpected times, including occasions when phone is not in use
- Unexpected beep or click during phone conversation"


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