worst privacy apps

8 Worst Apps for Privacy You Need to Avoid in 2019

Does a flashlight app need any permission to access your location? No, it doesn’t. After all, the purpose that a flashlight app serves doesn’t constitute access to your device’s location, contact list, etc.

Flashlight apps aren’t the only worst apps for privacy that you should avoid. In fact, the number of non-privacy-friendly apps varies from platform to platform. Both the platforms (iOS and Android) have some apps that might be putting your privacy at risk.

Take a look at the following apps that may not be good for your online privacy.

Worst iPhone Apps for Privacy

IOS, indeed, has a long history of taking good care of the users’ privacy. Take for instance the FBI and Apple feud over bypassing encryption. However, you never know when things get changed, as they usually tend to do with time.

Well, in iOS’s case, things have already changed, considering the iOS privacy breach event that involved Apple’s most-prized feature, Siri. So, let’s start with Siri.

Siri

Siri is basically not an app but a feature in iOS that gave the company an edge over its competitors in the industry. You can ask Siri to guide you the way, set important reminders, alert you if it is your daughter’s birthday, and more.

Siri was like a friend to every Apple device owner, until a revelation by a whistleblower changed it all. It was revealed that whatever you’re talking about with anyone while having Siri by your side is being recorded and listened to by third parties.

Flashlight App

We’ve discussed the problems for which flashlight apps are notorious. You’d mostly find these apps asking for unnecessary permissions such as access to your phone book, storage or location.

These apps don’t need such permissions since their job is to enable flash whenever the user wants. The only reason why these permissions are still asking is that they siphon the users’ personal data and use it for nefarious purposes.

DoorDash

DoorDash is a San Francisco-based food delivery service. Just like any other delivery service, the app allows you to order foods from your favorite restaurant and get it delivered to your home. Anyway, the application came under fire when a WP story got published. The story was on privacy breaching apps, which also mentioned DoorDash for continuously listening to personal information to re-target the users based on their preferred foods or places.

Angry Birds

We’ve been reminded time and after time that nothing comes for free, especially on the Internet. If it is free, then it must be using you to make revenue. The same mechanism holds true for free mobile games such as Angry Birds.

One of the most popular mobile games ever, Angry Birds faced severe backlash from prominent media publications as well as users for collecting and leaking their personal data. Even Snowden mentioned Angry Birds in his 2013 leaks.

Worst Android Apps for Privacy

By the first quarter of 2018, it was reported that over 26 million Android malware was detected. The Google Play Store is brimming with more free apps than paid ones. Perhaps, it is the reason why Android gets the short-end of the stick when it comes to malware and privacy breaches.

Anyway, following are some Android apps you should use with caution because of their privacy scandals.

Facebook

When we talk about Facebook and Privacy, all the past and recent controversial cases resurface before us. For instance, FB has been known for privacy breaches and violating its privacy policies. Moreover, it also received backlash when its latest product, Onavo, was reported for routing the traffic via Facebook’s data centers.

Regardless, when you use FB, you are basically letting the application know your interests, your preferred places, your relationships, and everything there’s to know about you.

Facebook Messenger

Today, people have become more aware of their privacy and data protection. It is, therefore, they have begun to use messaging applications that feature end-to-end encryption such as Signal or WhatsApp.

However, in FB Messenger case, there’s no such encryption at the time of writing this article. However, the social media giant has plans to add the feature to its popular messenger. Till then, it is best to avoid the app if you are worried about your private chats getting into the wrong hands.

You might also want to check out our blog on how to delete FB messenger if you are planning to switch to an alternative.

Go Locker

As the name suggests, the application is built to promise phone security to the users by offering them a screen lock feature which is more advanced than the built-in feature. However, the problem with the application is that it asks for unnecessary permissions that don’t match up with the functionality of the app.

Another privacy issue with the application is that it is built to link up with third-party application stores, which means that even non-secured stores can get its hands on your phone details via this app.

Camera360 Ultimate

If you want to add more features to your default camera application, you might turn to Camera360 Ultimate. After all, the app offers some pretty good features such as multiple filters, facial recognition, different camera modes, and more.

However, for a typical camera application, it asks for just about every type of permissions. Why would your camera need access to WiFi, microphone, or a network-based location?

Important Tips to Consider When Downloading an App

The next time you plan to download an application from any store, try to consider the following tips so you may not end up with any anti-privacy app.

  • Always check the permissions when you download any application. You can find what types of permissions the app needs from the details on the app store page.
  • A privacy policy is given to help you understand how the company collects your data or what they do with it.
  • If you happen to have an application that is peeking into the features of your phone that it isn’t supposed to be accessing, delete them and download any safer alternative.
  • Download an Android VPN or an iOS VPN on your device so you can keep your data safe from the consequences of malware attack or any privacy breach.

An information security analyst in the making, a father of an adorable kid and a technology writer (Contributor). He can be found lurking around top network security blogs, looking for scoops on information security and privacy trends.

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