You may be giving away your private and personal information simply by the way you hold your phone, according to researchers at Newcastle University.

Without even realizing it, you could be giving all of your information away to hackers merely by the way you hold your phone. According to researchers at Britain's Newcastle University, it's been found that it is possible to guess a four-digit PIN by monitoring the motion sensors found inside all smartphones. The report was published in the International Journal of Information Security, and it claims the slight ways one moves the device can give away the password combination, giving hackers access to the valuable information of what you're typing. Motion sensors in smartphones are extremely advanced, meaning that the slightest movement of a wrist is detected. Dr. Maryam Mehrnezhad, the lead researcher of the study, said that since most websites and apps don't need your permission to access most of the phone's sensors "that if you open a page on your phone or tablet which hosts one of these malicious codes and then open, for example, your online banking account without closing the previous tab, they can spy on every personal detail you enter." What's more concerning is that it doesn't take hackers very long to accurately guess your PIN or password. Apparently, it's possible to guess a four-digit PIN, with 70 percent accuracy, on the first try! And by the fifth try, the hacker, without a doubt, will guess the PIN with 100 percent accuracy.

How to Keep Your Personal Information Safe

  • Close background apps when they are not in use and uninstall apps you no longer use/need
  • Make sure your phone's operating system and apps are up to date
  • Only install applications from approved app stores
  • Audit the permissions that apps have on your phone (i.e., access to photos, location services, etc.)
  • Be more sensible with the permissions you allow certain apps access to
Sound off in the comments and tell us what you think about this study!

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