(INTELLIHUB) — People need to come up to speed with the technology that they are using. All of this smart technology, these smart devices which we surround ourselves with are supposed to assist us in being more efficient. But are these devises more harmful than helpful?

I read one article last week which stated that “soon law enforcement would have capability to turn on your smart phone’s microphone and camera without your knowledge.” The advance in that manner of warrantless intrusion came about soon after the birth of the first smart phone — or even before.

So I am going to give you a brief crash course which will hopefully allow you to increase your level of privacy when it comes to cyber-snooping. Did you know that even when your smartphone is turned off, that your location can be revealed either through tower triangulation? You should. That is common knowledge.

The same goes for the cellphone microphone. Even when the phone is “off” it can be triggered to turn on the microphone. The best way to prevent the GPS or microphone from divulging your location, activities, or conversation is by removing the battery. An easier feat with many Androids versus iPhones.

The second option is to place your “smart” phone in an anti-tracking sleeve or case. I prefer the battery removal method though, since it is a more certain means of thwarting location transmission and conversation interception.

However, there is always a possibility that the federal government has learned how to tweak the secondary battery in your smart phone. Yup, there is usually at least one.

Here is an excellent article which teaches you some neat security tricks with your smart phone.

If you want to be really sure, remove the phones battery and place it in a protective sleeve. In the house, (some but not all) microwaves can also serve as a mini-Faraday cage and block transmission and reception.

On another note, did you know that those “free” Apps aren’t really “free” at all and often upload a thorough account of your browsing activities, locations and all sorts of other personal information, which you might not want other people to have access to?

So think twice about installing free Apps, or at least be sure to deny them permission from accessing your contacts, photos, phone numbers, account information, notes, etc.
If you do not turn those permissions off, you are giving those apps free reign to access all of your private information.

But there is another problem, federal agencies and the cyber-mercenaries they employ (referenced in my article here) can modify the permission settings within the apps remotely. If you are hooked up to a cell network or Wi-Fi, they don’t need hands on to change App permissions, so there are several avenues via which your personal information can be accessed and the microphone and camera manipulated.

Did you know that Samsung “Smart” Televisions, which are “listening” for your verbal commands are live-streaming your living-room podcast to the cloud on a minute-by-minute basis? Those intimate moments, the arguments about money, and the land-line phone call from your sister telling you that Aunt Susie just passed away all get beamed up to the cloud and saved. But for who. Guess what John Q. Public, your living room is the stage for a reality show and you never even knew it.

And for anyone who has a laptop camera or a camera in any other smart device, cover it with tape! Now most people respond that when their camera is turned on, a little light comes on to let one know that the camera is running.

Trust me, the NSA and the other cyber-warriors who are warrantlessly intruding into your life have already developed a work-around and any device with a microphone or camera can be turned on without your being aware of it – even if the device or appliance is turned off.

Be smart with your “smart” devices. Do not take risks and recognize that the more Apps you install on a Smart Phone, the greater the risk to your privacy, regardless of how you have set the App permissions.

The author of this article, who prefers to use the nom de plume “XKeyscore” in order to maintain his anonymity, is a Doctoral Candidate and multiglot with two Master’s Degrees and a Baccalaureate specializing in Middle Eastern Studies. He holds one Master’s Degree specializing in Intelligence and Counter-intelligence operations, and a second Master’s Degree in Security Studies. XKeyscore has studied under a United States intelligence agency analyst and now-retired, high ranking, American military officers. XKeyscore writes exclusively for Intellihub News & Politics. Read more articles by this author here.

Image: Takashi Hososhima/Flickr
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