Fandango’s Provocative Question #127


Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

My provocative question this week stems from some disturbing articles I’ve been reading about spyware called Pegasus, which was developed by an Israeli cyberarms firm. Pegasus is spyware that can be covertly installed on mobile phones and tablets running most versions of iOS and Android. It exploits vulnerabilities on those operating systems.

According to the Washington Post and other prominent media sources, Pegasus not only enables the keystroke monitoring of all communications from a phone (texts, emails, web searches), but it also enables phone call and location tracking, as well as the ability hijack both the mobile phone’s microphone and camera, thus turning it into a constant surveillance device.

In short, Pegasus in a highly invasive tool, and can spy on almost any device and any social media networks and messaging apps. So far, it has been used by some, shall we say, unscrupulous governments to monitor smartphones belonging primarily to journalists, activists, business executives, lawyers, government officials, and perceived “enemies of the state.”

Knowing that spyware like Pegasus is out there, and that it can be used to hijack your smartphone, record your keystrokes, your voice communications, and your camera without any actions or knowledge on your part, my proactive question is…

How vulnerable do you feel about potential hacks or intrusions while using your smartphone? And if you do feel vulnerable, what steps, if any, are you taking to protect yourself and your data?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

26 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #127

  1. Taswegian1957 July 21, 2021 / 3:08 am

    I barely use my smartphone so not that vulnerable. I know that’s not to say it can’t happen to me but I don’t think about it much. I only give my mobile number to people I want to speak to but increasingly it seems to be compulsory to use it on forms and for two step verification so more companies have it. I never answer calls unless I either know the caller or they leave a coherent message. This is not out of fear of data theft so much as hatred of phones in general though.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. bushboy July 21, 2021 / 4:38 am

    Any one who wants to know all about my life must have the most boring life of their own.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. pensitivity101 July 21, 2021 / 5:10 am

    I am glad I don’t have a smartphone Fandango. I just get pissed off with MS trying to install updates on my laptop, which have been disabled btw, then sending a popup message that they can’t complete it. That’s because I don’t have the other stuff they’re trying to link to.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. newepicauthor July 21, 2021 / 5:57 am

    If you would have said computer, or devices, I would have joined in and wrote something, but there is nothing of value on my smartphone and I hardly ever use it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 21, 2021 / 7:32 am

      And I use my smartphone all the time and hardly ever use my laptop anymore.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Marleen July 21, 2021 / 9:39 am

    I was a bit bothered that the reporting I heard talked about governments using it but not about private entities (corporations, rich individuals, etc.). Anyway, it’s an important story. I already believed this was happening before we were given a name for a product, and I’m sure other hackers know how to do the same things. This is our world. Shall we make such things illegal? Or, if at least elements of it are now, are we going to impose consequences? I hope so. Time to grow up.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. CARAMEL July 21, 2021 / 9:45 am

    I don’t use a smartphone, but I guess the same question could be true of a laptop. I always think of this a little as I would if someone stole my handbag. Any nincompoop who did that would be very disappointed – as I carry nothing they would be interested in – unless they want my comb, my and my alcohol gel. If someone took over my computer, they would be disappointed. I have so little they could steal.

    If a crook, criminal, hacker, whatever they consider their job-title is intelligent enough to hack into someone’s device, surely they do their research first and pick someone with more than two ha’pennies to rub together!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong July 21, 2021 / 12:53 pm

      You know, being poor and boring too, that’s what I thought, too. I was wrong. They didn’t hack my computer directly. They hacked through the router — which is STILL vulnerable because no one has come up with anything that can stop someone who knows how to do it. If you buy anything online, you ARE vulnerable. They really don’t care whether you have very little money or a lot. They’ll steal it whatever you have.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fandango July 21, 2021 / 6:47 pm

        Yes, they will. 😡


      • CARAMEL July 22, 2021 / 2:24 am

        Which makes them very unscrupulous indeed. I shall continue shopping in charity shops and my local supermarkets.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Marilyn Armstrong July 21, 2021 / 12:50 pm

    I’ll write more about this, but basically, I don’t put sensitive information on my cell. The ONLY thing I couldn’t avoid was my bank because they closed our local branch and I have to deposit checks (when i get checks) via the cell. But I don’t have any credit information listed or passwords. AND my purse is designed to prevent hacking. It’s got a special web in it that prevents people nearby from stealing enclosed information, My wallet (came with purse) has the same web-work so no one can get copies of my credit cards — and I don’t carry my checkbook. Having BEEN hacked, I have no desire to repeat the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. cagedunn July 21, 2021 / 4:29 pm

    There’s always someone watching, waiting …

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Carol anne July 21, 2021 / 11:02 pm

    I didnt know about this spyware! It sounds awful and very intrusive!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Marleen July 22, 2021 / 5:49 pm

    As a matter of fact, my television is watching me dance right now! 🥳

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Susan St.Pierre July 23, 2021 / 9:05 am

    It’s frightening and worth everyone’s attention but it feels as though ‘what we find out’ is older news than ‘what’s actually going on.’ … so there’s a lag in our ability to competently react?
    Much like our awareness of our military capabilities, it’s “old news”. Antiques all. ‘What we don’t know’ will never catch up with ‘what is.’
    Add to that, our inability to trust those who could protect us? Yeah. Frightening.
    Great question that doesn’t have a racial, gender, political component! It’s sad, but I like it that we can unite on a common threat.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. leigha66 August 2, 2021 / 7:41 pm

    That sounds terrifying! But just like a lock on a door… it only keeps the honest people out. They will always find a way if they really want it.

    Liked by 1 person

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