Coronavirus & App Security – What You Should Know to Protect Your Privacy

Millions of people around the globe are working and playing from home in the Coronavirus pandemic. While working from homes, we should be taking care of how much information we are giving out.

If you are one of the millions of Work From Home abiders, and relying on apps to maintain good social life online in the COVID-19 pandemic, you need to take care of how much information you are sharing online.

Precautions while downloading apps

First, check which permissions the app needs when you install it or open it, depending on what OS you are using. If you think some of them are irrelevant, don’t allow. If the app is okay to allow you to use, it’s worth it.

What about the data collected by apps in the coronavirus times?

It’s always good to be vigilant. Your thoughts on the data collected by apps in the pandemic times should be no different from the regular times.

What about the Houseparty?

Houseparty is a casual video conferencing app. The app is active for about 4 years and was picked up by Epic Games, the same company that gave us Fortnite, the popular video game.

Its been recorded that the app was downloaded over a million times since the people are stuck at homes. The privacy policies from the app suggest regular audio-visual app permissions and normal data like contacts and Facebook friends.

Houseparty also collects analytics data and de-identified demographic and geo-location data.

How about Zoom?

Last year, the app had some flaws like it was hacked by the hackers and let into people’s webcams and it also ‘zoombombed’ some meetings. This week, due to rising usage by professional people, Zoom was forced to fix its iOS app which was collecting and sending data t Facebook without permissions.

Well, these two apps were seen used by both homebound people and people who are working from homes and want to join the conference calls with their colleagues. 

It’s better if you check the permissions you are giving to the app and clearly understand the privacy policies. If you are uncomfortable with some or other features of any apps, do let the companies know about them and let the authorities know about the same. Be safe, maintain self-isolation & social distancing.

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