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Friends & Family - biggest threat to your personal privacy because of their "phone" apps

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posted on Mar, 29 2018 @ 11:20 PM
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After reading a number of reports in professional tech magazines (Not PC Magazine or other fluff publications, but real publications for IT professionals) it is clear that many if not most of the "free" apps that people get for their phones and tablets have a hidden if not secret motive behind their alluring content. Much of this software are things like games or apps and the apps would have been considered ridiculous and unnecessary a decade ago by the average person. Now that "there's an app for that" has saturated our technology driven lives and people expect 24/7 entertainment (often for free with games on their phones/tablets) software has infiltrated these devices which is constantly mining data from the user and most often from those who the user knows through Facebook friends and or Google contacts. Some of this software goes so far as to outright SPY on the users by recording audio and/or taking pictures (with GPS markings) without the user knowing. The most recognizable of this is Pokemon-Go where it uses the camera to capture pictures wherever the player goes, often in private areas (businesses and homes)

Your kid, spouse or parent may be putting your information at risk by signing up for free apps, services or games and I can almost garuntee that they don't read the fine print. These free “things” cost A LOT over time in terms of personal privacy and security and should not be used by anyone who values these. The better option is to look for a similar app/game/etc where you have to pay for it, but these usually don't collect personal info (because they make $$ from your payment not from selling your info).

The ignorance of these people who use these services/apps/games is that they will say “I know MY games don't do any of this”, I ask why, “Because I've had it for 4 years and it has never done anything with my data”. This only shows how dumb some people are and how ignorant they are to the workings of the companies who buy and sell your data. I asked her how would she know if they had done something with her data and she replied “I would know, I would think..” Totally uninformed and scary that this is a person who was supposed to be a teacher!

There are some apps that have full access to all the phone calls you made/make, texts and other communications. Some can use the microphone and camera to take pictures without you knowing. What if you are in a doctors or lawyers office and they record personal, priviledged information? Would you know? How would you know?

I recently told a family member that if they keep using these 100+ free games on their tablet to take me out of their contacts and to not email me any more and to delete any communications with me from their account. They seemed unwilling to do this but it made a point of my intentions.

If you have a friend/family member who is big on installing apps or games, it might be worth talking to them about the dangers of this and being firm in why they shouldn't use free apps.

The same can be said for free email accounts. Using a service you pay for is much more “private” than a free service – this has been proven many times when accounts have been sought by police where free providers usually handed over doc's vs the pay provider requiring a warrant and then taking the police to court before handing anything over.


Being gullible or naive when it comes to technology is what the developers bank on (pun intended) and it is scary how dumb some users are – especially the ones who think they are smart o which is most of them unfortunately. Why can't dumb people just be happy being themselves and not try to prove their boundless knowledge




posted on Mar, 29 2018 @ 11:35 PM
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This has been known for a few years now. Even in the fluff publications. Surely you don't think the average ATSer is new to this party? We've known this for quite some time and hopefully most have already taken steps to mitigate the issue.



posted on Mar, 29 2018 @ 11:39 PM
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Good topic.

Yep, if it's free, you are the product.

This problem is way beyond yanking data with apps.

It's a hardware and os level problem hard coded into all new phones now.

Run logging page on No Root Firewall, if you want to check out the page-long list of servers your cellphone hooks to before installing any other apps.

It's eye opening.



posted on Mar, 29 2018 @ 11:43 PM
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a reply to: hombero


But recently we have learned how pervasive and invasive the big phone companies and internet companies are.

I think Google provides so many free services on Android and Apple, because they sell that data to advertisers, research firms, and others. So essentially, they're making money off of us, even though we're not paying for the services.

Google Photos' Unlimited Free Storage was the most mysterious to me, until yesterday.



posted on Mar, 30 2018 @ 12:06 AM
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originally posted by: hombero
This has been known for a few years now. Even in the fluff publications. Surely you don't think the average ATSer is new to this party? We've known this for quite some time and hopefully most have already taken steps to mitigate the issue.


Well I recently asked a number of people who consider themselves "up" and knowledgeable on the current going's on of politics and the "news" and said they had heard of this. I'm in IT (used to focus on sys/network admin & security) so I asked them some more pointed questions about the apps, what they use (free or pay apps), do they read the fine print or even the TOS (sometimes 1/2 page to coupld pages before the small print starts) and all said no. Most had no idea that the programs they use could do any of this, yet they are the ones who are qick to yell about using some non-harmful chemical in a way not marketed (but completely safe and a known use in industry for the chemical..) all because they saw it in the news.

I swear, the adults that I grew up with who used to think for themselves seem to have been lobotomized in many ways and have turned into scardy cats and have bought into the media's fear campaigns on all/most things publicly available. I feel like I'm dealing with people who have lost all common sense and are operating at an 8th grade level in many areas when they have advanced degrees. their argument capability has also changed, their observational skills (situational or just inter-personal or daily - in store/office) all seem to have been reduced by 30-80% from what I observed them 10-25 years ago. They seem like totally different people wearing the skins of the people I once knew. How often to people change 70% of their viewpoints after they reach 60 years old. I would think very few would be like this but i've seen MANY, if not most, that I know who are like this. Don't know where to post this to see if others have noticed, but it is one of my biggest concerns and has effected a LARGE number of people I know. very odd.



posted on Mar, 30 2018 @ 12:11 AM
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originally posted by: carewemust
a reply to: hombero


But recently we have learned how pervasive and invasive the big phone companies and internet companies are.

I think Google provides so many free services on Android and Apple, because they sell that data to advertisers, research firms, and others. So essentially, they're making money off of us, even though we're not paying for the services.

Google Photos' Unlimited Free Storage was the most mysterious to me, until yesterday.


I wasn't talking about Google so much as the free games or apps on phones/tablets that are designed to entice users to get them to give full access to the pone. Also, phone apps like (IDK what ones exactly, like the flashlight, song/music identifier = tells song name, remote camera monitoring, etc) ask for full access to the phone to get the app to work. There is no reason they need FULL access and that is a major red flag. But then the users say "I've never had a problem" but the thing is they never looked nore could they ID where a problem came from should one pop up. These aren't tech wizz's here using these apps, but they think they are smart enough to know when an app is doing something it shouldn't be and then don't want to listed to an IT expert when they tell them that it is. Make me want to disown family.



posted on Mar, 30 2018 @ 12:23 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

No Cell Phones Beyond This Point.
No Exceptions.



posted on Mar, 30 2018 @ 12:43 AM
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Never mind.
edit on 30-3-2018 by BotheLumberJack because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2018 @ 12:44 AM
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originally posted by: Wildmanimal
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

No Cell Phones Beyond This Point.
No Exceptions.


Yeah, no hyperbole there. Maybe the point is "no free apps with 10 page TOS and additional 4-5 pages of fine print that give full access to device and accounts linked to devices". That may be a little more the point of the thread, but keep up the ridiculous statements, it only underscores the ignorance (of posters like you) of the people who use the apps/games.



posted on Mar, 30 2018 @ 12:47 AM
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There are so many members on this board that are so close minded, quick to judge (and it seems either unwilling to read the posts or unable to comprehend them or probably both) that it is almost unbelieveable, especially on a site such as this with it's unique topics of discussion. Why are some of these people here if they only want to mock, make fun of or ignore people who are informed on topics and are willing to share knowledge and experiences. I'm guessing it has nothing to do with an agenda... /sarcasm



posted on Mar, 30 2018 @ 07:13 AM
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originally posted by: Mandroid7
It's a hardware and os level problem hard coded into all new phones now.

That's another reason why telephone makers like Android so much, they can change the code to make the OS do (or not do) whatever they want.



posted on Mar, 30 2018 @ 07:20 AM
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originally posted by: DigginFoTroof

originally posted by: hombero
This has been known for a few years now. Even in the fluff publications. Surely you don't think the average ATSer is new to this party? We've known this for quite some time and hopefully most have already taken steps to mitigate the issue.


Well I recently asked a number of people who consider themselves "up" and knowledgeable on the current going's on of politics and the "news" and said they had heard of this. I'm in IT (used to focus on sys/network admin & security) so I asked them some more pointed questions about the apps, what they use (free or pay apps), do they read the fine print or even the TOS (sometimes 1/2 page to coupld pages before the small print starts) and all said no. Most had no idea that the programs they use could do any of this, yet they are the ones who are qick to yell about using some non-harmful chemical in a way not marketed (but completely safe and a known use in industry for the chemical..) all because they saw it in the news.

I swear, the adults that I grew up with who used to think for themselves seem to have been lobotomized in many ways and have turned into scardy cats and have bought into the media's fear campaigns on all/most things publicly available. I feel like I'm dealing with people who have lost all common sense and are operating at an 8th grade level in many areas when they have advanced degrees. their argument capability has also changed, their observational skills (situational or just inter-personal or daily - in store/office) all seem to have been reduced by 30-80% from what I observed them 10-25 years ago. They seem like totally different people wearing the skins of the people I once knew. How often to people change 70% of their viewpoints after they reach 60 years old. I would think very few would be like this but i've seen MANY, if not most, that I know who are like this. Don't know where to post this to see if others have noticed, but it is one of my biggest concerns and has effected a LARGE number of people I know. very odd.


I can say, you're not imagining it. I've noticed the same thing myself- people have less reasoning capacity than my cat and my 5 year old at times. Not hyperbole- I really have run into people like that. Denser than element 112. And perfectly happy being that idiotic and ignorant.



posted on Mar, 30 2018 @ 09:27 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

This right here is why I have the behaviors I do regarding our modern technology. I have a smart-phone and a tablet, but I don't put any personal information on there. To be honest, I only got them to play games. I never even put phone service on the phone, to give you an idea. I don't even play games on them anymore, I pretty much only use them to watch youtube while I'm on the can. lol

When I need to use a phone, I still use my flip-phone. >_>;;

Another thing going around that I unfortunately fell victim to is those joke numbers. I got a random FB message from my nephew telling me to call him at work, and that it was an emergency. The number he gave looked weird, it wasn't a local area code, but after a bit I thought that he wouldn't have asked if it wasn't an emergency. Well, I called the number and it was similar to the "Rejection Hotline", except it was mocking the caller for being a chronic masturbater. I shook my head, told my nephew he was an ass, and went about my business.

Well, a couple days later I started getting constant calls from a 214 area code. They'd never leave a voicemail, but they'd call a lot. I googled the number, and it's a scam number from India, trying to tell people there's something on their computers. I'm the idiot that actually called the number, but I'm going to have a talk with him about who he tries to trick with that.
edit on 30-3-2018 by Necrobile because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2018 @ 12:49 PM
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It 's been known for a while yes but the police issue op raises isnt well known quite yet . There's all sorts of possible permutations with free apps running data mining . I asked a police about it , and well ,

they go a bit quiet and shy sometimes, when they haven't even got an official policy ,is a guess .
Some of these dating apps have got it plugged : you can use it for free, to the extent of messaging users ,

but if you pay them , some of the wonders of mined data on the other users can become yours . By using it free you become subject to the possible aspersions cast when you didnt reply immediately , or even , if you are talking to other users as well, from a naturally interested party . You wouldn't even know they can spy on you unless you'd read what you get if you pay.

You'd get gold-member fingered by it , in the end . Its another matter if you care or not though , maybe people in general give up trying to know what it all means to them , or they have no clue about what they should do about the new situation . The teacher you approached says "I think I would know...." , oh dear she clearly would not , what a frustrating attitude some hold . At least phones are usually switched off at schools , then again , that's personal property


edit on 30-3-2018 by ZIPMATT because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2018 @ 02:17 PM
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originally posted by: Mandroid7
Good topic.

Yep, if it's free, you are the product.

This problem is way beyond yanking data with apps.

It's a hardware and os level problem hard coded into all new phones now.

Run logging page on No Root Firewall, if you want to check out the page-long list of servers your cellphone hooks to before installing any other apps.

It's eye opening.


Not sure exactly what you are talking about, would you care to expand?

i'd like to get a group of people together and have them each write up a list of what they have found to be security issues, threats or potential threats (down the road) and then have a "round table" discussion where people could share knowledge and expand their knowledge base.

What I hate MOST about doing IT work for clients (especially residential and even corporate customers) is virus and malware removal as they never seem to be forthcoming as to what they do on the machines when other people aren't around. I see you've been visiting Porn Hub, and you installed their "free" daily movie app - did you read the TOS? What about this installation of Adobe's Master collection Suite 9 (every adobe program released), do you have the DVD's and codes for this or is this something you downloaded from a torrent or site (I'm sure we know the answer unless they are in graphic/video design/production). Even if I remove the questionable software, I can never garuntee that it didn't place other malware somewhere else that has been dormant since it was installed, so it's impossible to verify the computer is clean. This is why I'm looking forward to systemw where the OS is a ROM and can be re-flashed if any malware is present, then just load the apps again. Problem with this is now they are infecting hardware/firmware with malicious code that hides until the new flash has happened.

I'll try to find the NSA/CIA goodie book where they can buy hardware that allows on spying on any computer, like fake USB ports that are actually Wireless cards that transmit data, but also function as a normal USB port, so it isn't detected. But it's a nice cool $100,000 for the little connector. there's like 200+ items like this and they are outrageously expensive and supposedly the NSA intercepts hardware between manufacturer and retailer, which is scary. Order online and u r on a list? You are getting modified equipment most likely - so buy at a random shop that has little volume on a spur of the moment.



posted on Apr, 1 2018 @ 01:10 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Ah yes,
please excuse my ignorance.
Apologies for my reply to
your thread.




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