It should be said that every single application we install puts our privacy at risk because the vast majority of the apps gather user data and even quite likely sells it to businesses so that they can market their products better. And it’s virtually impossible to avoid your data getting into the hands of third parties.
We also want to mention here that the iNinja VPN app collects only the most necessary data required for the service to run smoothly and be compliant with the law. We protect all this information from data leak and are never selling it to anyone.
So, which apps were the worst in terms of privacy in 2020? Here is a list that should be your guideline for a safer 2021. Unfortunately, these apps are also among the most popular ones. But privacy is more important, right?
Just like always, Facebook is the first in the line of services that breach user privacy. In 2019, this social network couldn’t prevent a data leak. And this year somehow is not different from the previous one.
More than five thousand developers suddenly received access to the user app data this year. They got access even to the information of inactive users whose permissions were already revoked.
Recently, Facebook introduced a new policy that obliges the social media network to tell developers that work with this platform about all newly discovered vulnerabilities. Developers received notifications in the past, but now this rule is formalized.
We can never be sure that our data is safe with Facebook, especially, if we’re talking about a mobile app that might be full of vulnerabilities. So stick to the desktop site, or even better — just delete your Facebook profile. People are switching to other platforms anyway.
Messenger by Facebook
We won’t talk much about it. All the issues related to Facebook are already laid out in the previous section. Messenger is a part of Facebook, and there is no reason to think that this app is safer than the main app.
This year Natalie Silvanovich who is a security researcher at Google Project Zero received $60,000 for finding a vulnerability in Facebook Messenger. This bug allowed hackers to eavesdrop on calls. Yet, even this didn’t help the social network safeguard the privacy of its users.
Instagram (that also belongs to Facebook)
Instagram also tends to have privacy issues. Just like any social media platform, it collects data about your likes and interests to boost the performance of ads. But there is more to it. This year, there was a third-party vulnerability found — using it, malefactors could take over any account and turn the smartphone or any other device of this person into a spying instrument.
Considering that this app belongs to Facebook, it’s rather expected that Instagram won’t protect user privacy as much as it should. So, unfortunately, this application also should leave our devices.
WhatsApp (Facebook, again)
Yet another app that belongs to infamous Facebook. We won’t even talk about all those vulnerabilities this service has. Just Google “Whatsapp privacy issues 2020”, and you’ll immediately understand why we advise against using this messenger application. Better switch to more secure messaging services.
So, earlier this year the FBI rolled out an app called FitTest that is aimed at helping users achieve the physical shape of an FBI special agent. The application gives people a set of exercises that comply with the standards of this organization.
This multi-purpose app allows users to hold conversations, use it as a social media platform, and even pay for things. Sure, it’s convenient. But we have many issues with this service. First of all, it doesn’t have end-to-end encryption. So it’s not protected which is awful considering the amount of highly sensitive data it has access to. It’s already a huge drawback, and we didn’t look into other issues yet.
The app exists for 9 years, and during all this time it has been one of the main controversies. This service is either banned or restricted in Iran, Russia, and India. And this year, security researchers found out about WeChat monitoring all the conversations users have.
At the beginning of 2020, this service confirmed the vulnerability that could allow hackers to access user accounts via SMS. And the worst thing about all this is that the vast majority of users are kids that can’t really take care of their privacy on a needed level.
Say goodbye to these apps
Step into 2021 with better protection for your privacy as you get rid of these apps. Also, don’t forget to use iNinja VPN for Android, iOS, and desktop devices for added protection. It will cover your IP address thus allowing you to stay more anonymous online regardless of your activity.