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Security Risks of Apps Sharing Data with Advertisers

Both paid and free apps collect and share your data — often without you knowing. Unfortunately, this practice puts your privacy and security at risk.

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Further, you not only have to worry about your security online, but your privacy, as well. Often, security and privacy go hand in hand. Businesses track your behavior both online and through their apps. Both paid and free apps alike will collect information on you and then sell that information to advertisers or other businesses.

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While some apps allow you to opt out of data tracking, many do not. They may be collecting information on your location, what type of phone you use, and how often you use your phone or certain apps. But that’s just the minimum. Many apps collect far more information than that — especially if you give them permission to. This means they may also share your contacts, calendar, and other more personal apps with advertisers, too. It’s even possible that they could share your photos or messages if they have malicious intentions.

How Safe is Your Data?

The big issue with this practice of collecting and selling user data — besides privacy concerns — is that these companies then have to securely store all of this data. The data could be transferred in an insecure manner, stored on insecure servers, or generally mishandled. This could allow hackers to easily compromise a system and steal user data. With the increase in data breaches over the years, you should definitely be concerned with the data that apps collect and how that data is then stored, both before and after it’s sold.

Your apps could also be sold to advertisers with malicious intentions. This could happen if you use a free app that doesn’t care about the security or privacy of your data, or if the app developers are unaware of the advertiser being malicious. In any case, be cautious of apps that you download, such as apps that ask for too many permissions or apps that want to know everything about you. If an app lacks necessary transparency in its practices, you should definitely steer clear of it.