While reading and posting on my Samsung smartphone yesterday my mind alerted me that I was being watched. I get that mental ping when a lizard is looking at me from a distance, a bird is looking at me from a branch above. This time I was sitting in the comfort of my office and there it was, the ‘mental ping’ that I was being watched. As I looked up and surveyed the room several times I found nothing. But the ‘mental ping’ remained on alert warning me that the watcher was still present. As my vision continued to scan the area my eyes moved towards the smartphone sitting comfortably in my hand and there it was! A little red light coming from a very tiny space at the top of the Samsung apparatus. I have never noticed this red light on before. Yes, the little pinhead hole is a part of the machine but never used. It appears intruders are using it.
Curious as I am, I turned the Smartphone camera on and covered the frontal pinhole with a finger. My finger covering did not interfere with the camera, its lighting or any other function of the camera. I revered the camera function to selfie mode and covered the pinhole again, with my finger and the screen became the texture of my hole covering finger! I repeated this function of turning on the selfie and looked carefully for the red light to show itself on the pinhole. Nada! No such red light came on while I looked at myself on the selfie mode. Therefore, its is logical to conclude that somehow, someone activated the selfie camera and was watching me. Talk about Big Brother here now.
About two years ago I read a credible article about how Samsung Smart Televisions sets came with features that recorded video and sound without the owners knowing about it. There you are enjoying the privacy of your home and without a trace of knowledge or agreement on your behalf all your private moments are being recorded. At the time I looked into this and found that Samsung manufacturer admitted to recording private citizens and they also admitted that they sold these recording to third party companies. The implication was that the motive was marketing research. I call it spying. At that time I carefully place band aid coverings on all my computers eyes to avoid such intrusion. My mistake was to leave the pinhead eye on the Samsung smartphone making myself available to be spied on. I truly feel violated. Thank you Patriot Act! ( sarcasm)
Vix has an interesting article about how ” these malicious spy applications can not only harm your privacy through your mobile camera but also access contacts, text messages, email accounts, social networks, passwords and other private data.”
Vix blog also claims that the best way to take care of yourself is to never download applications from outside the App Store or Google Play, and not apply a Jailbreak, or in the case of Android, avoid installing apps from the unknown sources.
In addition, you should take the same precautions you would use on your computers to remain secure. Not clicking on unknown links that arrive in the mail or messaging applications can go a long way to protect your privacy. It is also advisable to not open unknown attachments. Finally, it never hurts to have installed and antivirus or antimalware. Still, there is no guarantee.
There is no guarantee. This is terrible wrong but I am sure we will sigh and put up with it as we have every other erosion of our civil rights.