Apple’s helpful computer PA can be used to bypass pin numbers and the in-built fingerprint scanner to make calls from any locked device, including to premium rate phonelines.
Microsoft’s equivalent to Siri, Cortana, can also be used to bypass security measures and make calls to expensive numbers without being unlocked – and can also send texts.
The massive security flaw means people who lose their phone could be at risk of being lumped with giant bills, because whoever finds it could make lengthy calls to long-distance or premium rate numbers.
The high tech personal assistants, built into millions of current generation smartphones, can be disabled, but because their default setting is on, most people do not turn them off, even if they are never used.
How to disable Siri:
- Open the Settings app in iOS and go to “General”
- Tap on “Siri” and near the top of the screen, toggle the switch next to “Siri” to the OFF position.
- Confirm that you wish to disable Siri completely by tapping on “Turn Off Siri”
- Exit out of Settings as usual.