In this part of the world, lots of people are not very conscious about the tech gadgets that they use because we’re generally not very tech-savvy in Africa, we just want to use a phone. We really don’t care much about what goes on with the phone or whatnot.
Fun Fact? 80% of the apps you use today steal your data and spy on you, but if you use an Android phone, don’t even bother to ignore this post, all your apps typically steal your data and spy on you.
How do you identify apps that do these? Very Easy! Almost all apps ask you for permission, to access your calendar, SMS, photos, microphone, etc. Dear friend, this is an age-long tactic that helps them get access to data you would rather not share, and those ones that ask for permission to use your microphone, they’re most probably listening in on you.
Here are the top ten apps that steal your data and spy on you without your knowledge;
- Facebook: Facebook is the most notorious app that steals your data, and the app has paid the price for this through a $500 million dollar fine for releasing the data of the app users which were in turn used to influence the 2016 elections.
- WhatsApp: WhatsApp currently has a user base of over 1.5 billion users, which makes it one of the most used apps in the world. WhatsApp has access to your gallery and Microphone and you can be sure that it gathers your data through these means; in fact, hackers can listen in on your conversation by hacking your WhatsApp mic.
- Instagram: is another popular app that harvests your data and can be used to spy on you. Instagram requests for permission to access your location, microphone, gallery and some other parts of your phone. Granting it permission to use this app is granting it full access to spy on you and harvest your data.
- Google Maps: Google Maps is a location-based app that needs access to your location and some other parts of your phone. Realizing that this app harvests your data and has the potential to spy on you is a no-brainer since it has access to your movements.
- Facebook Messenger: All messages that you send and receive using the Facebook Messenger app are not encrypted, which means that all your messages can be viewed by any Facebook employee with the appropriate permissions.
- Angry Birds: Another app that is very guilty of harvesting your data is the gaming app Angry Birds. Some time ago, Snowden blew the whistle on NSA and exposed that they were using the app to get access to people’s data. “The app was leaking personal data like users’ phone numbers, call logs, home country, current location, and even marital status, and the NSA was gobbling it up without any misgivings whatsoever.”
- Weather Apps: Weather apps are also very notorious for harvesting your data, as they equally need access to your private features including gallery and location to work. These features allow the apps to harvest your data.
- Cam Scanner: is another app that steals your data and spies on you without your knowledge. It is an app that imitates a real-life scanner but also gains access to your private data. “Cybersecurity experts have found a malicious component installed in the app that acts as a Trojan-Downloader and keeps collecting infected files.”
- Flashlight Apps: Although flashlight apps are usually free, they also support ads and will harvest your data for advertisers. So be careful when giving your flashlight apps access to your microphone and other features of your phone.
- Door Dash: According to reader’s digest, “the popular and convenient DoorDash app was featured in a Washington Post investigation earlier this spring, which revealed the alarming amount of personal data that the app tracks and shares with other entities.” This app doesn’t only harvest your data; it also shares it with third-parties which can be very dangerous for you.