Exposure Faced with Instant Messaging Appsby Deborah Belford Consultant
Privacy is not just a national issue or a state issue. It is personal. However, the internet does not seem to give us the choice of being personal again based on various data sharing policy, file sharing options, etc., that can make people send/receive important files about us, even without our consent (when they sneak up on our phones to secretly forward data to their conversation end). To what extent do we face exposure while using these instant messaging apps? A very great extent! Here are some of them.
1. Data Sharing:
If only people would take time to read the terms and conditions of most instant messaging apps, they would be skeptical about using the common chatting platforms and opt for a private chat app. Data is collected daily by chat app developers as strings of messages are sent daily. For instance, earlier in 2018, WhatsApp added to its terms and conditions that personal data are shared with Facebook for purposes including advertisements, gathering business intelligence, and security measures. Is it not surprising how what is supposed to be a PRIVATE chatting app becomes a tool for all those?
2. Peeking Eyes:
Other than selfish developers, another exposure issue you have with instant messaging apps is that there are lookers around. Wives, kids, friends, and sometimes, even strangers are there to just take a peek at what you are doing on your phone. Since many private chatting apps are without personal security, once a phone is unlocked, it means that people can read your chat! Sometimes, vital information share with folks are leaked and some people can use that for exploitation. The only way to escape this would most likely be that messages are self-destructed after a while.
3. Apps without Encryption:
Instant messaging apps with no end-to-end encryption are even scarier. It means that your information is not encrypted while being parsed through a messenger’s server to your chat mate. Hence, if there is a security breach, all your information can be accessed by whoever lays their hands on it.
4. People Can Monitor Your Life:
Frequent updates with ‘story’ and ‘status’ on some messaging apps, when used to post personal things and achievements, make people automatically know what you are doing. They can get to know your life and tell things about you. That instant, it is no more private. Also, while the chats on some messaging apps are guaranteed with encryptions, the media shared on public statuses and stories are not guaranteed to be protected.
5. Massive Security Breach:
Not quite long, there was a security issue about WhatsApp having a vulnerable hole from some hackers. A hacked instant messenger is quite dangerous and can make anyone vulnerable. Some hackers don’t do anything directly but some modifications that would leave spyware on your system, allowing them to monitor things happening to a user. Luckily, WhatsApp was able to fix the issue and they released a new version. However, how many people do timely app updates?
In conclusion, instant messaging apps put us in risks of exposure. However, you can manage how you use them and the permissions you grant some of those apps or simply opt for private chat apps.
Created on Aug 4th 2019 01:34. Viewed 381 times.