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A new study by TechShielder called Hacker Hotspots: The Apps Most Vulnerable to Cybercrime researched how much personal information popular apps collect. According to the study, 60% of the world’s most used mobile apps store information from users’ private conversations, with 80% collecting data on messages you send or receive, and all the apps accumulate basic user information such as phone numbers and email addresses.
The research also found that nearly all apps store sensitive information that users may be unaware of, such as their cookies. Cookies are small files that store users’ data such as login details, which can be helpful when logging into your account if you forget your password, but they also keep a record of a user’s online habits. This means apps could have a worryingly in-depth insight into an individual’s online life and what they do on their device.
Inevitably, there’s no surprise that people are beginning to question their safety online, especially knowing that 100% of all the mobile apps considered in the research share the data they collect and store with third parties. This means that your data is left vulnerable and at risk of being retrieved by hackers via many access points.
Findings from the research also revealed that 60% of the apps store data on the content that users create and 50% of popular apps have access to photos and videos from users’ camera rolls.
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In conclusion, it is important to be vigilant when online as users could potentially be sharing a lot of personal information with the developers behind their favorite apps. Knowing which apps and platforms are targeted the most as well as the types of data that are most at risk can encourage users to take more precautions and make better decisions when online.
The study determined the most popular mobile apps based on the number of app store downloads from 2021. The privacy policies of these apps were then analyzed to reveal how much information they store on their users and what is the most commonly collected personal data on popular apps.
Read the full report from TechShielder.
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