Living in the Information Age, data security breaches seem to be an everyday occurrence. Some are worse than others, though. Recently, there was a data breach of the personal information of oBike users—a bike sharing service that spans several countries. Though luckily the app doesn’t store credit card details, users’ names, emails, and phone numbers were leaked onto the Internet.
Even more disturbing than that, Taiwanese security experts say that they knew about the leak since June, but that oBike paid little attention to it. This just goes to show that you can’t always leave your privacy in the hands of third-parties. Sometimes you have to take control of your own data to avoid these kinds of privacy issues.
Serious Data Breaches That Shook the World
The oBike breaches may have not been anything major, but they are far from the only security holes that have been exploited by hackers over the years. For example, KeyRaider—a type of malware for iPhone—store the login credentials of hundreds of thousands of iPhone users in 2015. Granted, this only affected jailbroken phones, but it was a huge security problem nontheless.
Having a phone that isn’t jailbroken doesn’t mean you’re protected, either, though. Also in 2015, Apple had to pull dozens of apps from their store after it was discovered that they contained malware—called XcodeGhost—that could harvest private data from a user’s phone.
Besides that, there have also been huge global data breaches that users have had little control over. Hackers gained access to every Ebay account back in 2014, and 2016 Yahoo revealed that all of its user accounts had been compromised over the course of a few years.
As you can see, sometimes there is nothing you can do because the data is stored on the servers of the particular service that you’re using (as in the case of Ebay and Yahoo)—however, sometimes you can take important precautions, especially if you keep a lot of your data off the cloud and on your device.
Should You Do Anything?
All right, so there are times that you can try to protect your data. Should you, though? Is the risk really that high, and is it really worth the effort? Well, in a word, yes!
No matter what kind of device you have, your private data is at risk of people harvested.
According to Axran Technologies (an app security company), 78% of iOS apps have been hacked. This is a huge number, and considering that many of the apps you use have access to your private data, it should really make you reconsider what you’re keeping on your phone.
How Do iOS Users Protect Themselves from Data Breaches?
How do you protect yourself from data breaches like these, though? First, it’s important to focus on the things you can control, rather than the things that you can’t. You have no control over whether iCloud, for example, experiences a huge security breach like it did in 2014, but you can avoid putting private photos on iCloud in the first place, and you can make sure that any private correspondence, photos, or other media are scrubbed clean from your phone when you delete them.
Consider adopting these habits when it comes to data on your phone:
- Don’t take compromising photos of yourself with any Internet-connected device, even if you plan on deleting them later. There is always the chance that they can be leaked.
- Don’t use third-party apps to have extremely private conversations. If you are concerned that what you’re discussing could ever be leaked, then use more secure communication methods.
- Avoid using unauthorized apps on your phone. Most iPhone malware attacks happen on jailbroken phones.
- Don’t store financial information on your device, including credit card details and unencrypted cryptocurrency wallets.
- If you do save sensitive data on your phone, use security software like iMyFone Umate Pro iPhone Data Eraser to permanently delete your private data when you’re ready. This will make it unrecoverable if a hacker gains access to your device.
- Before you give away or sell your phone, use Umate Pro to reset your iPhone so that all the data is wiped and is unrecoverable.
- Keep in mind that all of the information on your phone may at one point not be private anymore, so act accordingly.