In an ongoing effort to combat scams, frauds, and account takeovers, the country’s most popular finance super app, GCash, is now barring ‘jailbroken’ and ‘rooted’ devices, effective immediately as a precautionary step against potential security weaknesses of modified smartphones.
Meanwhile, devices running in “developer mode”, in which some users configure the operating system for testing software and applications, have also been identified as vulnerable to attacks and will be prevented from accessing the app.
The practice of altering the normal settings of a mobile device’s operating system by the manufacturer or operator is referred to as ‘jailbreaking’ for iOS and ‘rooting’ for Android. GCash stresses that using jailbroken or rooted phones will not block or cause the cancellation of a GCash account. However, using these modified devices will prohibit the user from opening the GCash app on the said device. This includes phones in developer mode, which should be switched off before using the app.
According to GCash’s Chief Technology and Operations Officer Pebbles Sy, using a modified device can have severe consequences for security.
“Firstly, these devices cannot receive critical security updates, making them susceptible to viruses and various threats. Secondly, they are at an elevated risk of malware, which can result in system corruption and some sensitive personal information being compromised, including login credentials, passwords, and PINs,” explained Sy.
“Lastly, users of such devices may inadvertently expose their personal and financial data, including credit card details and online access credentials, to scammers and hackers, potentially leading to unauthorized access and fraudulent activities,” she added.
The leading fintech super app strongly advises its users to only use unmodified smartphones to access the app. GCash also cautions its customers against rooting and jailbreaking since it not only compromises security but also raises the chance of ‘bricking’ the phone or irreparably destroying its software, leaving the device useless.
Modding also voids the smartphone’s warranty, which means that the manufacturer will no longer fix the device if there are any problems. Having the device fixed by an unlicensed business also raises the danger of revealing sensitive data that the repair shop may get. Finally, GCash highly advises buying new phones rather than retaining hacked handsets to safeguard their safety.
GCash remains committed to providing a secure and seamless user experience for its customers. This latest security update underscores the company’s dedication to protecting the interests and personal data of its valued users.