Jailbreaking your mobile device – that is, freeing it from its locked-down status in order to run unauthorized software – used to be for hardcore techies. Not anymore. These days anyone can do it with any one of the available online tutorials.
There are a number of advantages to doing this. The primary advantage is that jailbreaking a device enables users to own and operate any type of device regardless of carrier (this was a huge advantage when the iPhone wasn’t available to Verizon users, for instance). It also allows users to have access to any and all third-party apps that they wish to run. Also, jailbreaking phones is hugely popular in foreign countries where mobile devices are far more expensive than they are in the U.S.; someone living in Eastern Europe might buy an iPhone online, then jailbreak it to run on whatever service they have in their country.
But as Costin Raiu, Director of Global Research & Analysis at Kaspersky Lab, discusses in the video below, there are a number of reasons that jailbreaking your phone puts it at risk. First, because of the protocols that must be taken and the security settings that must be altered to free your device, it becomes much easier for hackers to access the data on your phone.
The second major threat to a user who jailbreaks his or her phone is that once they do so they are far less likely to implement the latest operating system updates because doing so puts their phone back behind bars. But these operating system upgrades include the latest security patches to the operating system and the software that runs on it, so not making those upgrades increasingly leaves devices vulnerable to a growing variety of threats.
To learn more about the pros and cons of jailbreaking your device, watch the below full video of an interview that Raiu gave on the subject.