Which apps collect personal data about you?
PHOENIX – Most people don’t realize how long they are on the phone each day. We use certain apps for things like networking, shopping, and pretty much everything else.
A recent study found that when you shop on Amazon, log into Facebook, or browse Google, you can give out a lot of personal information.
“Any app you use collects information about you,” Chandra Steele said.
Steel is with PCMAG.com and says most people don’t know that by installing a phone app you are agreeing to terms beyond what you think you have agreed to.
An example is to think that you are simply allowing an app to access your photos.
“They don’t realize that the things they’ve agreed to are also their browsing history, search history, things they bought, financial information, health and fitness data,” he said. she declared.
Steele refers to a recent poll by VPN company Surfshark.
They compared the data collection of 200 phone apps in 18 different categories, from messaging and shopping to food delivery and dating.
Facebook came out on top collecting the most data, including Facebook Messenger and Instagram, which Facebook also owns.
The study found that Paypal, Amazon, Doordash, Linkedin, Tik Tok and YouTube were all at the top of the data collection list.
Many times your information is collected and sold to other companies.
“All of this data is crossed to form a profile about you,” Steele said.
Salespeople can take that information and bombard you with products that you may have been looking for, products that they know you might like.
The biggest problem is what apps can access on your phone and where they might end up.
Information on your phone, such as the sites you visit, finances, passwords, and personal photos, can be taken, sold, resold, and resold again.
Steele says your data could end up with someone or a company not paying so much attention.
“You could be a victim of identity theft because there is so much data out there,” she said.
So protect yourself.
If you determine that a phone app is useful, look for ways to turn off information sharing before you install it.
If already installed, check your settings to see what is accessible.
“On an iPhone you can access privacy and on Android you access apps and notifications,” Steele said.
There you can check how you share your location, photos, camera, microphone and more.
“You can turn that off in order to at least limit some of the information you put out,” she said.
Surfshark is also looking at alternatives to large data collectors in the same categories.
For example, DoorDash is said to collect much more information than Postmates.
They found that Amazon collects nearly double what Etsy collects, Paypal three times as much as Moneygram, and Gmail collects five times as much data as the lesser-known Spike email.
Steele says it’s important to remember that there is a price tag for a free app.
“If you don’t pay for something, you are definitely the product,” she added.
Bottom line, you can’t stop this, but you can limit it if you think before you download.