Once you download an app the company responsible can do pretty much whatever they like with the data you give them access to. You may have heard about the recent military heat map story, in which soldiers using a fitness app to monitor their progress were inadvertently providing the app producers with information about the classified running routes they were taking within military bases. This has serious implications especially when the data collected revealed how popular certain routes were and provided an outline and general layout of the military bases affected. This has created concerns about how upfront apps are in revealing the data they have access to.
Which poses the question:
Do you really know what data your apps are collecting?
If not or you’re not sure, you might want to read the following tips on how to ensure your app data is as safe as possible.
What do app companies do with your data? :
- Once you download an app and agree to the terms & conditions the company can pretty much do what they like with any data you share with them.
- Primarily companies will use this data to:
–Share/sell to a third party provider
–Offer targeted marketing
–Monitor your usage
–Track your location
- It is therefore crucial that you are aware of exactly what information your apps are accessing and the possible dangers this could put you or your business in.
How to keep your data safe? :
Use two-factor authentication:
-This ensures that even if a hacker gains access to your username and password they will still not be able to access your account providing an additional layer of protection.
Be aware of location tracking:
– Check that location services are turned off on apps that you don’t feel need to access your location.
– If you have apps that require your location to work ensure that the location services are set specifically to only be active when the app is in use.
Delete any apps that are no longer in use:
– It is easy to delete the app icon from your devices but are you actually deleting the associated accounts that store your data? Chances are you’re not.
– To do this you will need to simply open the app, delete the account within the settings and then remove the app icon. This will delete any data that the app and associated account holds.
Download apps from reputable sources:
– Ensure that your apps are installed from a reputable source such as the app store.
– Keep any apps updated regularly, this will ensure that they are not only up to date with the latest security software but also improves their performance.