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Tech Temptations to Avoid
By: wubayou
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    On its own, the tech world is full of items that show off the talents of innovative individuals. While the internet and electronic devices give you access to a whole new world of productivity, entertainment, and more, many of us have the desire to go beyond what is given to us. Whether it’s online content, restrictions on devices we buy, or ethics in the virtual social world, there are many temptations in front of us that give us the urge to break the rules. Here are some of those tech temptations that you should avoid to keep free of any negative consequences.

    Rooting Your Android Smartphone

    We do not live in a perfect world, so there exists a chance that your newly purchased Android smartphone is lacking when it comes to the latest and greatest Android OS.  Many believe that once they purchase a device that they should be free to transform it however they wish.  There’s really nothing wrong with this notion, and it has plenty of merit.  Manufacturers, however, will likely have a different opinion.

    The process of rooting an Android smartphone or other device gives the owner root access.  This is essentially privileged control over the device that can be used to tweak and overcome certain restrictions or limitations placed upon the devices when they are put on the market.  Think of it as jailbreaking, but Android style.

    Rooting your Android device obviously offers advantages, otherwise nobody would go through the trouble of doing it.  As mentioned, you can get a more advanced OS, or clean up the bloated features that you have zero use for, plus much more.  The process is not the simplest around, and you will have to do things such as obtain a compatible Android ROM or build for your device, then follow instructions offered by pros on the subject.  Like everything, there is risk and reward in rooting, so while you may get better performance and features, you could brick your device.  Also, if you need to send it in for repair, the fact that you tampered with it will affect your warranty, so proceed with caution.

    Jailbreaking Your iPhone

    As with rooting your Android device, jailbreaking your iPhone to expand its possibilities and take further control can result in negative consequences.  Apple surely does not want you to jailbreak your iPhone and is constantly coming up with ways to combat such action.  Jailbreaking does open up the door for a ton of new apps and lessens carrier restrictions, but you could end up with an expensive iPhone that lacks a valid warranty in the end.

    Hijacking or Imitating Social Networking Accounts

    If you’ve spent some time on social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook, you know there is no shortage of phony profiles.  There are plenty of people out there who want to trick you into believing they are actual celebrities, as well as others with stolen pictures looking to dupe you into buying subscriptions to sites.  As tempting as it may be, you should avoid impersonating public figures.  This is rather obvious, but many people do it thinking it is harmless.  That all depends on the person you are imitating, as some may just brush it off.  Others, however, could slap you with a lawsuit for defamation or trademark violation.  Unless you have a big bank account stored away for potential lawsuits, you are better off fighting your impersonation tempations.

    The same holds true for hacking social networking accounts.  You may have an enemy you wish to spy on, or maybe you are wondering what your ex or current partner is up to.  Either way, hacking accounts, no matter how you do it, is a no-no.  Not only is it unethical (yeah right, who cares?), but it also violates terms of service.  Hacking an account could lead to civil lawsuits over defamation as well.

    Snooping Over Text Messages

    Similar to stalking someone on a social network, spying on text messages is just as bad.  It is warranted if your kids just got smartphone and you want to keep tabs on them with a program such as Mobile Spy, but it should be avoided in other instances.  For instance, Ezor noted that monitoring your spouse’s text messages without their consent, a warrant, or judicial permission is illegal.  Resist the urge to do so to protect your bank account.  Besides, you probably don’t want to know what is being said behind your back.

    Downloading YouTube Videos to Your Hard Drive

    Here is one action that appears to be harmless, but does break the rules.  YouTube is a great site to waste time thanks to its immense ever-growing catalog of videos.  While the site is great for streaming, there are probably some special videos that you would like to keep on your hard drive for frequent viewing.  There are programs out there that can help you achieve this type of YouTube downloading, such as KeepVid.  Once downloaded, the file becomes transferrable so you can watch it on other portable devices. 

    The convenience of such programs is hard to deny, but you are essentially breaking YouTube’s rules.  Specifically, the site prohibits viewing content “through any technology or means other than the video playback pages of the Service itself [or] the Embeddable Player.”  In other words, your little file conversion operating is taboo.  You break the rules even further if you plan on sharing the downloaded videos with others, as that brings the actual content owner’s copyright issues into play.

    As you can see, many of the items in this list are not exactly on par with murder, but they do break the rules.  As tempting as some of them may be, try to refrain from engaging in these tasks, as the consequences in the end may have you regretting the past.

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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