You may have heard the term jailbreaking or rooting in regards to your mobile phone, but what is this and what does it really mean for you?
Jailbreaking is the process of removing the limitations imposed by Apple and associated carriers on devices running the iOS operating system. To “jailbreak” means to allow the phone’s owner to gain full access to the root of the operating system and access all the features. Similar to jailbreaking, “rooting” is the term for the process of removing the limitations on a mobile or tablet running the Android operating system.
Jailbroken phones came into the mainstream when Apple first released their iPhone and it was only on AT&T’s network. Users who wanted to use an iPhone with other carriers were not able to unless they had a jailbroken iPhone.
By hacking your device, you can potentially open security holes that may have not been readily apparent, or undermine the device’s built-in security measures. Jailbroken and rooted phones are much more susceptible to viruses and malware because users can avoid Apple and Google application vetting processes that help ensure users download virus-free apps.
It is inevitable that over the next few years, as millions of smartphones replace handhelds, laptops, and desktop PCs, and billions of applications are downloaded—risks of mobile crime will rise. Not only do you need to stay educated about the latest threat and scams, you should also make sure you have comprehensive mobile security installed on your mobile device.
And remember, jailbreaking or rooting your mobile device can open you up to security risks that don’t make it worth doing so.
About Robert Siciliano
For over 20 years Robert has been researching and keeping in tune with all aspects of security by staying on top of what is new and ahead of what is next at all times. His purpose is to inform and educate you to avoid becoming a statistic. He says “There always has been, there is now and there will always be a criminal predatory element stalking their next victim.”
Follow Robert on Twitter: @RobertSiciliano