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Here Are Some of the Worst Apps for User Privacy

Perhaps the biggest consideration for consumers who are looking for apps that they can use is privacy because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up making the difference in terms of online security. In spite of the fact that this is the case, there are a lot of apps that don’t seem to take user privacy as seriously as they should. Atlas VPN (based on Mozilla data) recently shed some light on some of the worst performers from a user privacy standpoint.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the worst offenders in terms of user privacy happen to be weather apps. Several social media apps as well as messaging platforms are also lax when it comes to maintaining privacy for all users. These apps harvest data so that they can sell it to the highest bidder, and even though third party tracking is on the decline they still manage to mine excess data quantities with all things having been considered and taken into account.

Reading the terms of use and privacy policies for the apps that you use can reveal a lot of red flags. However, most app developers have teams of legal professionals who draft these documents. They use legalese to obscure privacy infringing aspects of the user interface, so if you notice that your app’s privacy policy is unnecessarily lengthy or complicated this might indicate that your privacy would be at risk if you were to use said app.

Another thing to note about user privacy on apps is how they earn money. Free apps need to bring in revenue, and they usually do this by showing ads to users. That makes free to download apps more likely to violate user privacy than their paid counterparts, although this is by no means something that applies to all apps in this category.

Some apps like Twitter attempt to inform users by releasing transparency reports which include how many government requests for user information they receive. Prioritizing the use of such apps can help users stay safe without having their privacy infringed upon regularly.

Users should also be cognizant of the permissions that their apps might be asking for. Apps such as Snapchat and WhatsApp obviously need permission to access your smartphone camera and microphone, but some apps ask for too many permissions even if they are not required to keep them functional.

Apps collect a wide range of information from users including financial data, browsing history, contact information, ad exposure and clicks, usage habits as well as information related to their current location. They might even track your weight and gender so that they can sell this data to the highest bidder.

It’s no surprise that Facebook is among the worst apps for user privacy, since this platform collects all of the aforementioned data types as well as many others. TikTok might be an even worse performer in this regard, especially due to the app’s tendency to track what you add to your clipboard. Users should be made aware of the various ways in which apps attempt to collect their private information.
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