Popular free messaging app has failed miserably in the latest security report.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has published its annual ‘Who Has Your Back?’ scorecard, a report which rates 24 tech giants for security and data protection compliance. WhatsApp rated just one star out of a possible five. The company, which is owned by Facebook, had adopted none of the best practices recommended by the EFF.
The EFF rates companies on the following:
- whether the follow industry-accepted best practices
- their transparency over government data demands
- publication of data-retention policies
- disclosure of details regarding government content removal requests
- whether they publicly and officially oppose government back-doors into their software or other deliberate security weaknesses.
Yahoo was among nine companies to receive a full five stars in the report, along with Dropbox, WordPress, Apple and Adobe. Facebook scored 4/5.
So, how can I stay safe on my mobile devices when even some of the digital giant seems to care little about my privacy?
Your mobile devices are as powerful and connected as any PC or laptop. Take the same precautions on your mobile device as you do on your computer with regard to messaging and online safety.
Mobile devices are computers with software that need to be kept up-to-date (just like your PC, laptop or tablet). Security protections are built in and updated on a regular basis. Take time to make sure all the mobile devices in your house have the latest protections.
Phones can contain loads of personal information. Lost or stolen devices can be used to gather information about you and, potentially, others. Protect your phone like you would your computer.
- Secure your phone: Use a strong passcode to lock your phone. Read our tutorial here.
- Only give your mobile number out to people you know and trust and never give anyone else’s number out without their permission.
- Beware of malicious apps and app permissions: If you really don’t need an app, don’t install it. Most free apps will attempt to make the app developer money in some way. Review the app permissions on everything you install on your phone. Permissions for things like location information, device and app history and contacts are reasonable for mapping, GPS, browsing or social networking apps, but not for games and flashlight apps. Read the reviews in the Play Store and App Store.
If you’re online through an unsecured or unprotected network, be cautious about the sites you visit and the information you release.
- Protect your hard earned cash: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://,” which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.
- When in doubt, don’t respond: Fradulent texting, calling and voicemails are on the rise. Just like email, requests for personal information or for immediate action are almost always a scam.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ronan is the Director and brains behind Bridge PC Repair. With over ten years experience in the technology industry, sure he knows it all.
Contact Ronan: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tele: 051 560767