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Smartphone apps have access to things you copy and paste to your clipboard

Most of us are pretty good with using a smartphone — moving information around to pay bills, enter credit card numbers and copy passwords and photos we have no intention of sharing.

However, you may want to think twice about doing all of that. Every time anyone copies and pastes to the clipboard, apps like TikTok and dozens of others have what’s called a “clipboard scraper.”

“It gives them carte blanch so they can download anything that you have copied to your clipboard,” warned cybersecurity expert, Carrie Kerskie. “The biggest problem here is yes, they are doing it but they’re not telling you they are doing it.”

Even worse, if you have an iPhone, it features something called “clipboard sharing,” meaning anything you copy, cut and paste there is vulnerable.

“If there is someone else on your Apple ID, if you are within 10 feet of that person, it’s also taking the information off their device, whether they are using that same app or not,” Kerskie said.

The developers of these apps are building in this capability to see what’s on your clipboard. The information is typically used for marketing purposes, but your information is still out there and the odds that someone can steal it go way up.

Best advice: keep downloading the latest security patches and iOS updates. They’re working on solutions to this problem.

For more tips on mobile phone security, click here.

Reporter:Rich Kolko
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