Similar to the “effective power” iPhone bug that was rendering iPhone messaging useless last year, a link has been circulating around social media that can crash your iPhone or Android device within seconds.
The link, known as crashsafari.com, works by overloading your phone’s browser, which is typically Safari on iPhones and Chrome on Android devices. It does this by populating the search bar with mass amounts of self-generating text until the browser becomes completely overburdened. Depending on the amount of available RAM and CPU, crashsafari.com could affect some user’s laptops and desktops as well.
While this link will not corrupt your phone’s software permanently, it will make your phone incredibly slow and even force it to reboot within seconds. More seriously, there is a risk of overheating due to amount of processing power needed to handle such a large amount of code. Obviously, overheating is never a good thing in mobile devices, and an overworked phone runs the risk of permanent damage or even catastrophic battery failure.
If you are sent a suspicious link or accidentally open a masked crashsafari.com link, you can fix the problem by simply rebooting your phone. If this does not work, you may want to consider clearing out your device’s browser history, as well as any cookies or cached data and rebooting again.
As a rule, you should never open links from untrusted or unverified sources, especially on your mobile device. If it looks like spam, play it safe and don’t click that link- you may end up saving yourself a headache in the long run.