When it comes to the world of smartphones, your first decision might be the toughest. That is whether you want to be an Apple or Android user.
If you go with Android, you will have tons of phone manufacturers to choose from.
However, U.S. intelligence agencies are warning consumers against using one Chinese brand in particular.
Why is the U.S. government worried about these Chinese smartphones?
We're talking about the Chinese telecommunications equipment company Huawei (pronounced Wow Way).
During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing this week, six top U.S. intelligence officials advised Americans not to use products or services from Huawei. Those providing the warning included the heads of the CIA, FBI and NSA. They also recommended private citizens to stay away from products made by another Chinese company, ZTE.
FBI Director Chris Wray said, "We're deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks.
'That provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure. It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage."
The good news is, some U.S. carriers have already made the decision not to sell Huawei phones. Verizon and AT&T both dropped plans to sell Huawei phones earlier this year after being warned by the U.S. government of security concerns.
U.S. intelligence officials are worried that Huawei is helping the Chinese government with a spying program. So much so that Huawei is being blocked from receiving any U.S. government contracts.
Huawei, of course, denies the allegations of having any involvement with the Chinese government. It released a statement claiming that it poses no greater cybersecurity risk than any other Information and Communications Technology vendor.
But who are you going to believe...a Chinese manufacturer or U.S. intelligence agencies? I'd say it's a pretty simple decision here, stay away from Huawei.
In other security news, sketchy websites are hijacking your smartphone to mine cryptocurrency
Cryptojacking is a growing problem and it's starting to become one of the biggest computer threats out there. Even if you have nothing to do with cryptocurrencies, cybercriminals can profit off your gadget without your knowledge, cryptojacking is the latest security threat you need to keep your eye on.