"Hidden Crimes" Part One: Dangers Of Cell Phones


By Michelle Costa

TWIN FALLS, ID (KMVT TV) - In this day and age with technologies growing, almost everyone owns a cell phone.

But, did you know you could be placing yourself in danger?

Michelle Costa looks into it during her two part series called “Hidden Crimes.”

It's a handy little way to get in contact with anyone at anytime, anywhere.

But, that convenience may go to the wayside as for some, it's a way to hack into your phone and get inside your most hidden secrets, acting as eyes and ears for someone other than you.

"Your cell phone is a computer and it has a mechanism that's a hard drive,” said Detective Todd Rudner, Twin Falls Police Department.

Detective Todd Rudner knows all about the dangers lurking.

"If you put your phone down at night and you can turn it off, they can activate your phone on a home computer and listen in on your conversations. They can read your texts. Anything on your phone, they have access to,” said Detective Rudner.

Spy ware can be found online costing anywhere from $15 to $350. It's pretty creepy stuff. Someone can see every single thing that you do via the phone's video camera.

So how easy is it to install on your cell?

"It's really, really simply. There's spyware cell phone software and if you have physical contract with the phone for 10 minutes and it's a web–enabled phone, you can go to a website and download the program onto the phone and then go back to a PC and log in with your credentials and you can track every text message in and out, every phone call, every photo they've taken. Your entire address book and they can track exactly where you are and when you were there It's actually a surveillance device that's surveying you, in your pocket. Don't let anybody use your phone because they have to hold your phone to do it. It can't be downloaded and installed over the air yet,” said Owen Robbins, KRRS Systems.

But, for the police, it may also be valuable to investigate crimes.

"Let's say someone runs a foul and they left their phone and we can find out where they've been in the last 24 hours. I can't think of any crime where a cell phone wouldn't be useful for an investigation,” said Detective Rudner.

How can you protect yourself?

Keep your cell phone close by and put a password on it so only you can get into it.

If you're not using the phone, take out the battery because after all your privacy may not be so private.

It's not just hacking into your phone that's a worry; did you know someone can also find out exactly where a photo you took from your cell phone was taken at?

Sunday night we'll take a look at geotagging in the second part of "Hidden Crimes."

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