Your Questions Answered: “What is Jailbreaking?”

Everyone is talking about “Jailbreaking” these days. In fact, I have received several emails from listeners of the show and readers of this blog, wanting to know, “What in the ‘Bob Saget’ does Jailbreaking mean?” Most everyone on the planet has heard the term “jailbreaking”; however, most everyone doesn’t know exactly what it means. Well, let’s just see if I can clear that up for you today by answering a few questions I received the Tech Corner Question Bag.

What is “Jailbreaking?”

This is basically the process where users of an Apple device – iPhone, iPod, iPad or iWhatever – open up the software and remove all Apple  and provider restrictions; thereby, freeing the phone from it’s restrictive cage (Hence Jailbreaking).  Basically a user will load in a software of some type that will break into their phones root directory, or core, and modify it where the user can access or install or create apps that will do pretty much anything.

Apple’s iOS mobile platform restricts users from installing any app that didn’t come from the app store or wasn’t pre-approved by Apple. Jailbreaking your device allows 3rd party developers to write and install apps that bypass this restriction or any restriction for that matter. A jailbroken device allows you to customize your device in virtually endless ways, from creating ringtones to choosing a service provider other than the one you are paying for!

While there seems to be a tremendous upside to jailbreaking your Apple device, there is also a tremendous downside. Jailbreaking opens up your device for all sorts of data corruption, malicious code and malware apps. So, while you are gaining the benefit of customization you are basically taking the thing that makes Apple so great in the first place (No viruses or malware intrusions) and making it like Windows, where you are always worried about Malware and virus infections.

Basically, it is not illegal to to this. Whether or not you jailbreak your device is completely up to you.  However, it is very likely that it will void any warranty to have on your device, because Apple doesn’t support jailbroken devices. Also, is all of this new found “freedom” worth removing the security of not having to be concerned with Malware and Viruses? It certainly isn’t to me, but that is an opinion I am here to give you the information; not make the decision for you. I don’t like the idea of taking the risk of installing a cool aftermarket app that is really an app in disguise that transmits all of my iTunes and/or credit card data to someone else to be stolen, is worth it.

It boils down to this, “Is it worth possibly having your identity stolen, warranty voided and loading your phone with Malware in order to create some kickass ringtones, and have a few killer apps?” If you can answer “Yes” to that question then go ahead and jailbreak it. However, if you’re like me and realize 3rd party app developers are not out to be your friend and provide you a legitimate service without some benefit to them; which may include getting your personal info, then stay away from the jailbreaking bandwagon.

Hopefully that answers the question. If you have some questions you want answered on the air and the blog let me know by shooting an email to techcornertopics@gmail.com.

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