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Be wary of the information you share

Laura Merrell

News recently broke that the iPhone 5 could be rather easily hacked. I just got a new iPhone a few weeks ago, another example of my impeccable timing. Lucky for me, I selected an iPhone 4S, and although it is not the newest and best, I frankly cannot tell the difference.

Hacking the iPhone 5 is so convenient that you can do it from the comfort of your own room! Simply watch a step-by-step YouTube video and volia, you can now creep on your friends to your heart’s content.

The video shows you how to get past the numerical password, and once you have that figured out, the hacker in training is now able to listen in on phone calls or scroll through your contacts or view photos.

There is a clear lesson to be learned here: be careful about how you use technology, not just your fancy new iPhone 5, but  your Tumblrs, Twitters, Instagram and Facebook accounts as well.

Development in technology, especially the rise of the Internet and Apps linked to it, has led to a phenomenon I like to call “over sharing.”  Many feel the need to chronicle their lives in minute detail. They share their electronic memoirs to a large audience that often includes a combination of well-known friends and much lesser-known acquaintances. I wish when people felt the urge to share every aspect of their life on one of the various social media or networking sites, they would think to themselves, as the famous Richard Nixon phrase goes, “[we] could do that, but it would be wrong.”

We could all do without that cousin or long lost friend from elementary school that insists on posting a photograph of what they had for breakfast or receiving updates about some forlorn looking sheep they won in an online game.

Because you can very easily lose control  over what you share, there is something to be said for withholding information, or at least sharing only important information on the Internet, and the recent revelation of the simplicity of hacking an iPhone 5 only adds more legitimacy to this claim.

With social networking and media sites, especially Facebook, slowly prying away the limited privacy we had to begin with, what we share becomes increasingly crucial.

I have to remember to check my settings every so often just to make sure Facebook has not tried to trick me into allowing my information on Facebook to be shared with whoever feels entitled to it.

The information we put out on the Internet or store in our cell phones has never been completely safe, but safety is even more at risk now. If it’s not hackers posting some strange ad with typos on your wall, then it’s your friends posting some unoriginal, ridiculous status about your unfortunate bathroom habits.

I do not advocate avoiding using social media such as Facebook, nor do I urge you to throw out your brand new iPhone 5 to prevent being hacked, but I urge you to be very wary. As technology improves, so do hackers’ tricks.

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