Every iPhone and Android owner warns to delete a contact now

A CYBER security expert is urging people to delete their smartphone contacts to avoid

In a recent blog postPeter Gregory, author of more than 40 books on online privacy, warns that having too many contacts can be “toxic” for your cell phone.

You should be selective with your iPhone or Android contact list at all times


You should be selective with your iPhone or Android contact list at all timesCredit: Apple

That’s because many apps access the phone numbers and email addresses with which we connect and build affiliate networks.

This could allow hackers, law enforcement or intelligence agencies to know your identity and the people in your connections.

“If a law enforcement agency considers you a person of interest, they may find out that you use encrypted messaging apps like Signal,” said Peter, senior director of security firm Cyber. GRC, wrote Tuesday.

“While the agent won’t be able to see the contents of your chats, it will be able to see who you’re chatting with.”

The risk this entails can be thought of from a different angle, he added.

“Consider an active law enforcement investigation that focuses on a specific person,” Peter writes.

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“If you are on that person’s contact list and if that person is known to be communicating with you on an encrypted service, you could become another person of interest in the investigation.”

This may not seem like a big deal until you consider the number of contacts you may have accumulated across multiple online accounts.

Peter emphasizes that he has thousands of them hosted across multiple services – mainly Apple, Yahoo, and Google.

That meant thousands of people were able to leave his contact information to snoopers.

“In my current and previous jobs over the past 30 years, I’ve had relationships with a variety of clients, partners, suppliers, colleagues, and other associates, which has resulted in the accumulation of thousands of contacts,” Peter wrote.

“I barely know most of them and for the most part, I don’t know when or where I knew them or met them.

“I have slowly assembled a vast network of links that can be used against me.”

The privacy expert urges people to delete unnecessary contacts to keep their data as safe as possible.

“Communication data can be just as malicious as other forms of sensitive information,” he warned.

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Caroline Bleakley

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