President Trump is known for tweeting on his phone, but it seems that his joy for social media might have opened the door for cybersecurity issues.
The Current Situation With Trump's Phones
President Trump uses smartphones that lack in-depth security and protection against hackers. Previous presidents worked with White House communication officials to ensure that their devices were protected.
A May 2018 report from Politico discovered that Trump currently uses two iPhones. One phone is used primarily just for phone calls. A second phone only has apps for Twitter and other news websites so that he can access information.
The White House Communications Agency has asked the president to strengthen the security technologies on the phones. This same agency is responsible for issuing Trump his current iPhones.
What's At Risk With Trump's Phones?
Members of Trump's senior staff urged the president to swap out the Twitter phone on a monthly basis to limit his exposure to hacking and surveillance. Trump has reportedly ignored these requests and told his staff that this plan was "too inconvenient" for him.
The president's phones are at risk of getting hacked if proper security protocols are not taken. There is also the risk that a hacker could infiltrate this phone's camera and microphone to record conversations.
A senior White House official told Politico that the Twitter phone does not require more security, and both phones are already swapped out regularly. The official also denied any surveillance risk with the camera and microphone.
"The White House is confident in the security protocols in place for the President's use of communications devices," a senior White House official told ABC News. "The president has accepted every device and process related to mobile phones recommended by White House Information Technology."
How To Protect Trump's Phones
During the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump attacked Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private server for emails, which could be vulnerable to attacks. In the same regards, Trump's own phones could also be easily hacked if they are not protected.
However, even if Trump followed all of the security protocols, there could still be a major security risk. Security expert Bruce Schneier told the Washington Post that it is possible that Trump's communications have already been compromised.
There are a couple of measures that the president could take to provide more security to his phone. First, he could turn off the internet capabilities on his phones, which would make them more difficult to hack. In addition, Trump could disable the microphone, camera, and the GPS. While these changes won't guarantee complete security, they are still safer than the current phone situation with President Trump.