November 9, 2021
Viral Apps That are Risking Your Personal & Smartphone Security

Viral Apps That are Risking Your Personal & Smartphone Security

Loris MillerNovember 9, 2021, , ,

With the rapid advancement in smartphones, the app industry is experiencing an explosion of applications catering to every audience type and genre. All applications come with varying requirements and lengthy privacy policies- that we accept without thought or consideration. 

It’s easy to ignore the intricacies of these apps and how they operate; we only seek our purpose from them. In the process, what we fail to realize is- many of them, especially the more popular ones, are actually putting our personal data at risk.

Talking to the experts, we compiled a list of the viral apps that are actually risking our personal and smartphone security.

1. TikTok

TikTok might jeopardize the privacy of its users' data. TikTok has been accused of utilizing data-mining techniques. Data mining is a method in which businesses collect personal information from user profiles and distribute it with ads, marketing, and analytics firms. 

TikTok gathers more than 50 types of data from users as young as 13 years old, according to Business Insider, including age, gender, geography, and internet behaviors. These details are frequently utilized to develop customized advertisements that occasionally border on invasions of privacy. 

How to Safely Use Smartphone Apps

Check out these pointers to make sure you're ready to use apps properly or to help you decide whether or not to follow trends at all.

  • Don't succumb to fads.

When all your pals are uploading app-generated cartoon images of themselves on social media, design your own and publish it instead. Your article will be better the poorer an artist you are! 

  • Before you download anything, do some research.

Before you download a popular app, conduct a quick Google search to see whether there are any recent news stories that raise serious privacy issues. Also, carefully read the terms and conditions. Frequently, the fine print has the answers to your privacy concerns. 

  • Modify the app's permissions

Make it a practice to check out the privacy and data-tracking options whenever you download a new app. Opt-out of targeted adverts and tracking, and make sure only individuals you know in real life may see your account. 

  • Register for mobile privacy protection

When you have McAfee Total Protection on your side, you can navigate applications and mobile sites with confidence. For computers, tablets, and smartphones, McAfee Total Protection offers secure surfing as well as identity and malware protection. 

Gerrid Smith, CEO & Founder of Property Tax Loan Pros

2. Facebook, Messenger, Truecaller, Audio Player

Most of the free apps collect your personal data from your device, and two giant companies collect all of your information. There are 4 most common apps that actually expose your identity are Facebook, messenger, truecaller, and finally, audio player. 

We have noticed that Facebook now tracks all of your data through your phone. These are: how many times you have unlocked your phone, which apps you use more, what you do with those apps, how you communicate with others, everything. 

Truecaller does the same thing. It shows your name and location to others if someone types your number in the app dialer. You might notice that 3rd party audio players like ymusic ask for your permission to access your contact and record your audio. Besides, it tries to sync with its servers even if it doesn't have anything to sync.

We highly suggest you avoid these apps. You have to ensure your data safety. Try to give as little information as possible to the app developers. Be safe. 

Tom Burt, the Executive Vice President at Scarlett cyber security USA

3. FaceApp

FaceApp is a face-altering program that potentially compromises users' privacy. It's unclear what the software does with your likeness if you enable it to snap your picture, similar to Voilà AI Artist. The selfies uploaded to FaceApp belong to the app, according to the app's terms of service. 

After that, you can “use, reproduce, alter, adapt, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, and display your User Content” for free. Users should take notice of this line of fine print. Users' faces could once again be utilized in ways they would not ordinarily consent to. 

Rodney Yo, CEO & Founder of Best Online Traffic School

4. Apps For Games And Puzzles

The majority of individuals don't give free puzzles and game applications much thought. Unfortunately, when malware and other harmful code are hidden, this might come back to hit you hugely. Because malware-spreading apps try to reach as many people as possible, it's typical to see advertisements for them on social media. Rugby Pass, Flying Skateboard, and Plant Monster are just a few examples. 

For a complete list of 21 awful gaming apps, you should delete them from your device, tap, or click. Malware isn't the only problem. Most games collect a lot more data than you might think. Take, for example, the wildly popular game Words with Friends. 

Purchases, contact information, user content, IDs, diagnostics, location, contacts, browning history, usage, and other data are all collected by this game. I'll stick to traditional Scrabble.

 Daniel Carter, SEO Manager at Manhattan Tech Support

5. CamScanner

This scanner app quickly gained popularity due to its exact cropping and automatic light adjustments. Employees filling out new hire paperwork can use CamScanner's ID scan template to swiftly scan and upload sensitive papers. Please pause for a moment before entrusting your driver's license, financial documents, or Social Security number to this free software.

Researchers discovered harmful code in the Android version of the PDF maker app in 2019. A third-party advertising library was responsible for the faulty code. The program was modified to remove the offending SDK and then re-released on Google Play. Even so, you can decide to keep away because you don't require it. What other options do you have? When it comes to scanning, iPhone users can use the Notes app that comes pre-installed.

Dr. Dee Richardson, CEO & Owner Healing Hands Chiropractic

6. Astrology App

Astrology allows you to look into the stars to find out why you are who you are. Well, perhaps. However, if you download Astro Guru: Astrology, Horoscope, and Palmistry, you'll be in for a lot of data sharing. The program, which has over 10 million downloads, according to CheckPoint Research, did not properly secure user data such as usernames, dates of birth, gender, location, email addresses, and payment information. Yikes. It's best if you can get rid of it. 

Safety Tip:

  • Digital cleanup: 

Delete any old accounts you aren't using, as well as your photo gallery and browser preferences.

  • Scanners for QR Codes:

You're clogging up your phone when you download a third-party scanning app. Despite this, many people are drawn to these programs. So, rather than taking a chance and disclosing even more personal information, take advantage of your phone's built-in features. 

Open your camera app on Android, point it at a QR code, and keep it steady for a few seconds. If you get a notification, tap it. If you don't receive a notification, go to Settings and check the box for QR code scanning. Open the camera app on your iPhone and hover over the QR code to scan it. Your smartphone will guide you to the code's link automatically. 

Daniel Carter, Debt Advisor at IVA Advice

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