Apps are everything.
But all apps are not created equal, especially when it comes to matters of privacy.
Some apps are using your data in ways that may shock or create fear in you. They suck up your data, drain your battery, and collect information about you that they can then farm out to make a profit.
And this is the worst offender of all: the one app you should delete immediately, according to privacy experts.
In terms of privacy and your phone, there’s some good news and bad news. The good news is that, if you own an iPhone, Apple is well respected as a company that respects its users’ privacy far more than its competitors. The bad news, though, is that the apps you use on your iPhone aren’t necessarily following the same standard.
And one app that is notorious for abusing privacy is also one of the most popular: Facebook.
You know all of those targeted ads that pop up every time you log onto Facebook? The ones that make you feel as if the app is reading your mind?
Those are no coincidence.
“Let's face it (no pun intended), every time you use Facebook, you're basically telling the company everything it needs to know in order to show you relevant ads that make it billions of dollars,” reports Inc. “That means that it's collecting all kinds of information about your device and what you do on it, even if you're not in the app.”
And there are even more privacy problems where Facebook is concerned.
According to The Guardian: “A whistleblower came forward in March to reveal that Cambridge Analytica improperly harvested the personal Facebook data of 50 million people in order to profile and target users for political advertisements.”
And more: “Hackers were able to access and steal personal information in nearly half of the 30m accounts affected in a September security breach. The company initially believed that 50 million users were affected in an attack that gave the hackers control of accounts.”
Deleting the Facebook app can help in a small way: it may discourage you from logging on frequently, which reduces the risk the app poses in using your personal info.
Of course, the only way to truly be free of Facebook's ability to track you is by deleting your account. But, since many of us aren't there quite yet, getting rid of the app is a solid first step.