#1 Civil War: Apps Vs You

This is the first of the 3-part series, “Civil War: Apps Vs You” that delves into the risks that mobile apps pose to its users in an attempt to encourage caution and care towards protecting one’s personal data

If you think that the mobile apps sitting innocently on your phone screen are harmless, think again.

Smartphones, have admittedly become an extension of us, an extra limb more like. A testament to that is the huge number of smartphone users worldwide which is to cross 2 billion with over 200 million users in India Itself by the end of 2016. And of course smartphones are to a great extent rendered useless without mobile apps. With the emergence of mobile generations and mobile economies, there are gazillion apps out there built to be installed and used by mankind.

The rising number of mobile apps unfortunately are also perpetuating an increasing number of cybercrimes and personal privacy violation. Food for thought; these privacy leaks may somehow link back to that moment when you are installing a mobile app, and you hit “I Agree” to all the Terms & Conditions

These T&Cs are legally binding contracts granting apps permissions to access your personal data. Thanks to these permissions apps now know where you stay, where you work, restaurants or malls you frequent, your conversations, photos, browsing histories, contacts of all your near and not so near ones.

Apps can access your neighbour’s Wi-Fi or company Wi-Fi and consequently all work related data being transmitted. OTP passwords, account details and transactions are sitting ripe for the plucking in your phone messages.

No this is not a Sci-Fi movie. This is the reality plaguing smartphone users. Malicious and privacy leaking apps are the stuff of nightmares today. There are apps out there knowingly or unknowingly putting consumers at security risk every day. And what’s scarier is that once your data is out there in the digital world, there is no erasing it.

While most apps have made life easier and are integral to our daily routine, there are those that have been leaking out your personal information, unknown to you. Does this unchecked reign of apps mean the apocalypse of privacy? Stay tuned for our upcoming article in the series, ‘APPocalypse: Xtinction of Privacy

Reference: The Economic Times May 6 2016 issue, article titled ‘Why mobile apps require access to your data and device tools’