A phone and computer are arguably the two most used devices these days. We use them regularly every day and most of us even work with them for several hours in a row or even for a whole day.

Recent advancements in processing power and storage technologies have made it possible to bring many things to computers and smartphones. Mail, messaging, chat, wallets, banking software, even the ability to store thousands of photos and videos. These devices carry nearly our entire lives digitally. Therefore the attack surface of these devices and the interest from hackers to gain control over them has increased too.

We will dive deeper into specifics in our Intermediate articles, but you should know the basics. The first thing is that human beings love speed. We all sacrifice privacy, a lot of it, for speed. We do not set up password/pin protection on our devices to save time as we unlock them and we let applications use our location data indefinitely to save us a little bit of time in future so that application does not ask about it again.

Many applications tend to misuse permissions by asking for more than they need. For example, a torch application should not really need access to your photos or location, right? Speaking about location, apps tend to ask access to your location not only while using it in the background too, even when the device is idle.

Another big thing is browsers - software that we use most frequently to access content over the Internet. Most browsers send data without our consent and allow websites to store cookie files with unique identifiable information. How many times have you experienced Deja Vu after looking up a product and later finding ads for that product all over social networks and contextual ads everywhere?

Cracked applications and unofficial app stores are dangerous too. No one checks the validity and honesty there and attackers often leverage this possibility heavily. Sticking with the official app stores is essential.

And the public networks? We love free Wi-Fi but it comes at a cost - open Wi-Fi network means the data transmitted is not encrypted and attackers may be able to eavesdrop and hijack important sensitive information such as passwords or photos.

Have you seen laptops with webcam covers? There is a real reason people concerned with privacy use them.

So does it seem a bit scary? Yes, and we just touched the tip of an iceberg here. Head over to our intermediate Phone and Computer article to learn more about where and how your privacy is being compromised on these devices.