Losing personal information over smartphone apps for non-definable purposes is no longer a shock to us. There have been too many data breach scandals of topmost tech giants which made us cautious as well as aware.
There are thousands of apps in the market which serves one or the other purpose. Developer makes an app to make the user’s life a bit easier and hassle-free.
However, there are apps which take up more storage, apps which drain your phone’s battery, and then we have apps which we keep under Just-In-Case category. On the other side of it, there are a few questionable apps which may breach the privacy and personal space, and make it all public.
According to a security expert, below are 6 iPhone apps which you shouldn’t have in your phones anymore:
- Facebook Messenger
- WhatsApp Messenger
- Angry Birds
Let’s dig into these to see what and why the expert wants us not to keep the apps on our iPhones:
As of the third quarter of 2019, with more than 2.45 billion users all over the world, Facebook Inc. is currently the largest social media platform. Shocked to see the app included in this list?
Well, being the largest platform, the chances of users’ data getting hacked or personal info/space breach are also high. I’m sure Facebook users still remember the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which had jolted the world of technology.
It made us realize that nothing we do on Facebook is secure because the App knows almost everything about us, i.e. our likes/dislikes, relationships, interests, and so on. There are loopholes where our data is being extracted and it might or might not have been used for commercial purposes.
Generally, any app which knows about you to this extent should be under the question mark at every point.
2. Facebook Messenger
With time, we have become more cautious for our privacy, and how our info is being used. Facebook Messenger / Messenger is a platform of exchanging communication through messages so it must be E2EE (end-to-end encrypted). The logic behind having this encryption is that it gives the sender and receiver the privacy that apart from those two, no third party can view the communication.
However, in early 2018, the US Department of Justice appealed the court to remove E2EE so that their agents could decrypt the suspicious message/voice message exchanges which are considered to be criminal activities. The court rejected the appeal, though, in late 2018, other government entities filed a suit to unseal the case. So if this happens, then your messages won’t be secure anymore, and the outcome will be invading your privacy.
3. WhatsApp Messenger
Being the biggest social messaging application, WhatsApp Messenger is the most useful and our go-to-communication-platform for daily tasks.
However, when it comes to security of users’ data, this app couldn’t go untouched by fraudsters, spammers, or you name it. The hacking into WhatsApp accounts started in May’19 which resulted in injecting malware via calls to the targeted phones, even if the user didn’t answer the call. This app has also been a target platform for altering photos and spreading fake and fraudulent news.
Some people call it “Virtual Torch”.
Does a flashlight app needs permission to access your location? No, it doesn’t. Cause, we all know the purpose of this application which is quite self-explanatory; thus it shouldn’t ask for your device location, contact lists, and other personal information.
Despite being this simple, the app unnecessarily attempts to gather more info about you than it needs which makes us feel suspicious as our personal info shouldn’t mean anything to this application.
A San Francisco-based food delivery service company, DoorDash is convenient when you want food delivered to your doorstep.
Worth more than $13 billion & the largest third-party delivery service in the world, DoorDash also couldn’t keep the users’ data safe. In mid-2019, an unauthorized third party accessed users’ data which included general as well as sensitive information such as names, email & delivery addresses, order history, phone numbers, and encrypted versions of passwords. In some cases, the hackers were able to access the last four digits of payment cards and bank account numbers as well which was not unacceptable. Though the company took immediate steps to improve the security; however, there will always be a question mark on the company’s security layers as to why they couldn’t encounter the initial breach in the first place.
6. Angry Birds
Undoubtedly, one of the most loved games in the world which made everyone its enthusiast in the first go. The UI, levels, and the ultimate features of the game were so catchy that no one could even think that one day, this game will be a cause to invade their personal info.
Everything was going smooth till the time this fun-loving and pass-time game turned out to be one of the worst apps when it comes to security and privacy.
In early 2014, it was considered that the Angry Birds was a leaky app, and was used to collect data about its users, including their sexual orientation and location. Like every other free app, this app also asks for some information so that the advertisers can better target the users. And guess what!! The users’ sensitive information was leaked through the in-game advertisement codes which give them a personal record for each user from your political affiliation to whether you are single, married, divorced, engaged, or swinger.
Tips To Keep In Mind When Downloading An App
In future you plan to download an app from any store, consider the following tips:
- Whenever you download any app, always check the permissions.
- If you experience any app on your phone accessing the info that it shouldn’t be, delete those and download any safer alternative.
- To be away from becoming a victim of malware attack or any privacy breach, get an Android VPN or an iOS VPN on your device so you can keep your data safe.
Generally, when it comes to security and privacy, we choose to go with iOS over Android. Though we know that giants like Apple, Facebook and you name it, have also been victims of the data breach. One thing I can say for sure, that no info I’m keeping on my phone is secure. There is always fear in my mind whether my personal information is secure or not.
We Are Listening
Are we in a place where we cannot encounter if technology is beneficial for us or not? Do you also think that giving general info even on an app like food delivery service turns out to be risky for us?
Please share if you think we missed anything or how we can make it better. If you want to, do share if you had any data breach issue with any of the apps so that we can let others know about it. Thank you!