iPhone apps spying

Apple iPhone and iPhone users can no more mock Android users for apps security and privacy. iPhone apps are also spying on millions of app users worldwide.

The 21st century is all about data and analytics. From companies to govt all are using data for identifying trends and patterns. Companies use the data, collected by all means, for knowing what customers’ want while government want this for policymaking. Even in elections, political parties reportedly use people’s data to decide what words they should use in speeches to win peoples’ trust and vote as well. Each day we are getting one step closer to the digitization, relying more on the technologies and getting surrounded with a plethora of gadgets. In this process, unsuspectedly, we share a lot of personal data that could potentially become a threat to our privacy later stage.

This week Washington Post revealed something terrifying about the iOS apps. According to the journal, many apps on Apple AppStore are indulged in spying on iPhone and iPad users by tracking their personal information like Phone number, email id, location, and other valuable inputs.

“In a single week, I encountered over 5,400 trackers” on an iPhone, said Geoffrey Flower- Technology columnist at The Washington Post.

For long Android apps have been on the target of many reviewers and experts blaming Google for not doing enough to enhance its app policy to win users confidence related to privacy concerns. While we know that Android apps are not security protected, even if Google asserts, and the same is the case with Apple as most of the iOS apps are coming from third-party nowadays.

iPhone Apps Spying: Whom To Blame

It is learned that the Background refresh is the main culprit of this problem. Although switching off is one way to counter the increasing security challenges with apps, it will come at the cost of losing some convenient features like no notifications of unread messages, emails and news stories, etc.

Switching off the background refresh is not a good idea, instead, you can go to background refresh settings and select apps that you are not using frequently but still getting updated at regular intervals, and stop them. Selection of such apps depends upon your priorities; Apps that you don’t trust or are entitled only for attention during free time, like Facebook, don’t need auto background refresh.

But that’s not all you need to be take care of!

Uninstall all the unnecessary apps which you don’t use it or now have become useless to you. Choosing the paid version of the app is better than the free version, but The Wall Street Journal columnist Joanna is of a different view. Keep a regular check on the apps you installed and auditing will help you protect yourself in the future.

Additionally, you can also enhance your security by switching off the features which you don’t need like GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, and On it when you really need it. These default connectivity features are quite useful at times but also track your whereabouts. Many iOS apps keep storing your location data tracked by your devices and share them with their paying customers who could derive a lot more insights about your preferences, activities and habits.

Hence, uninstalling all the third-party apps becomes an important measure to take in order to protect your personal data from getting misused.

Network carriers can still have the details about your whereabouts through cellphone towers location your device gets connected to, but is still not worse than tracking other personal information that many apps keep tracking throughout the day.

Some smartphone users may find all the above steps quite amusing and impractical in modern time, the last resort, for those, is to stop the usage of smartphones and switching back to feature phones. However, it will come with the cost of losing a lot of exciting features that these new generation smartphones offer.

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