A warning to smartphone and tablet users.
Have you received one of those messages or alerts on your iPhone or android recently saying you need to update the system?
Did you ignore it?
Cyber experts say you probably should not, especially right now.
If you have a smartphone, chances are it’s somewhere near you right now.
Rarely do we go anywhere these days without that little device chalked full of our personal information.
That’s data you probably don’t want hackers to have, but if your phone hasn’t downloaded the newest software update, cyber expert and Green Bay Net Co-founder Elliot Christenson warns you hackers can easily steal your information right off your device.
“They can remotely exploit your phone, so from remote, they can control your phone to send out spam or attack other phones or potentially get your data. You might be like, I don’t care if somebody gets my Facebook password, but the problem with passwords is people use the same password over and over,” says Christenson.
He says, on iPhones, the iOS 9 update fixes a problem with airdrop, a file sharing feature between apple devices.
Through Bluetooth, which many people leave on, Christenson says hackers can take what they want without you knowing it.
“They have to be in close proximity to you though, so it’s like the coffee shop problem. If they’re in the coffee shop, they could potentially take over your phone if it’s not up to date,” says Christenson.
He says there’s risk for Androids, too.
“They have similar exploits. And because of the nature of Android, they actually fix them faster, but get them out to customers a little bit slower,” he says.
So how big of a concern is it?
While the likelihood a hacker is standing right next to you is probably low, Christenson says it’s important for people to know it’s possible yet easy to prevent by allowing updates.
As a general rule of thumb, he says you should allow updates as soon as you get them, because most often they involve some sort of security fix.