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5 Ways to Protect Private User Data on Messaging Apps

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

Facebook recently asked WhatsApp users to accept its updated terms of service and privacy policy – or else lose access to the app.

“As part of the Facebook family of companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, this family of companies. We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings,” reads WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy.

“This includes helping improve infrastructure and delivery systems, understanding how our Services or theirs are used, securing systems, and fighting spam, abuse, or infringement activities.”

This move has left many WhatsApp users concerned and searching for a more secure messaging platform. Most messaging apps today are relatively safe since they use encryption when sending messages.

On iOS, this fact makes such applications really quite reliable. However, it’s worth remembering that the user may face an attack on the device or an attempt by attackers to infect it.

That’s why, on Android, the situation is a bit different, since, for example, there is a built-in Accessibility Service. That’s why, in order to protect data, Kaspersky recommends that mobile device users adhere to the following rules:

  1. Don’t download messengers and other programs from third-party sources. Use only official application marketplaces.
  2. If possible, acquaint yourself with the user agreement. There are situations when the developer of the app openly warns that they may share user data with third-parties.
  3. Do not follow suspicious links from messages, even if they were sent to you by your friends.
  4. Use security solutions when possible on your mobile devices.
  5. Pay attention to which permissions downloaded applications request. If the requested permission is not necessary for the full functioning of the application, then there is a reason to be wary. For example, the flashlight app clearly doesn’t need access to the microphone.
Edited by Jenna Delport
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