Cyber Express

online shopping

Is Your Online Shopping App Invading Your Privacy?

With the growing popularity of online shopping, Cyber Express recognizes the convenience it brings, allowing purchases from the comfort of homes in Youngstown, Boardman, Mahoning County, Ohio. However, alongside these benefits, privacy and security concerns have emerged as crucial considerations. 

Shopping apps vary in privacy practices. Excitement may lead people to install apps without reviewing their privacy policies. Unbeknownst to users, these apps can collect extensive data from smartphones, posing risks to personal and business information, as well as compromising privacy. 

Shady Data Collection Practices from Popular Shopping App SHEIN 

In a recent discovery, security experts revealed that a popular shopping app was secretly monitoring users’ copy-and-paste actions, keystrokes, screenshots, and GPS location. This raises concerns about potential privacy invasion by online shopping apps. 

The app in question is SHEIN, a widely used shopping app with millions of users. Reports indicate that researchers discovered the app gathering data from users’ clipboards, including sensitive information copied and pasted, such as passwords or credit card numbers. This raises significant privacy and security concerns for the app’s users. 

SHEIN was found to be tracking users’ GPS location and accessing device sensors like the accelerometer and gyroscope. This allowed the app to track users’ movements and gather information about how they interacted with their devices. Such extensive data collection raises further concerns about user privacy and potential misuse of personal information. 

The app’s developers claimed that the data collection was for “optimizing user experience.” A very vague explanation that’s used by other app developers as well. The developers stated that the collected data was only used for internal purposes. But this explanation wasn’t enough to please privacy experts. Those experts raised concerns about the app’s data collection practices. 

Temu Data Collection Practices Questioned 

Instances of apps secretly collecting user data have become more prevalent, with many popular apps doing so for targeted advertising purposes. Recently, the shopping app Temu’s popularity surged after featuring in a Superbowl Ad in 2023, drawing significant user attention and adoption. However, such popularity warrants cautious consideration of the app’s data collection practices to protect user privacy. 

But Temu is another shopping app with questionable data collection practices. Some of the data that Temu collects includes: · 

  • Your name, address, phone number  
  • Details you enter, like birthday, photo, and social profiles 
  • Your phone’s operating system and version  
  • Your IPS address and GPS location (if enabled)  
  • Your browsing data 

So, what can you do to protect your privacy when using online shopping apps? 

Tips to Protect Your Privacy When Using Shopping Apps 

Know What You’re Getting Into (Read the Privacy Policy) 

Indeed, it can be challenging to read lengthy privacy policies while eager to use an app. However, avoiding it may inadvertently lead to sharing more data than anticipated. 

Before downloading any app, it’s crucial to review its privacy policy, which outlines the data collected and its usage. To save time, search keywords like “collect” and “your data” to quickly access essential data collection details. Being informed helps users make more privacy-conscious decisions. 

Prior knowledge of data collection may alter your decision to download, realizing it may not be worthwhile. 

Turn Off Sharing Features 

Disable unnecessary data-sharing features like location services in your phone’s settings. Many smartphones let you customize app preferences for this. Explore both phone and app settings to limit data sharing to the essentials. 

Remove Apps You Don’t Use 

To reduce risks, uninstall unused apps from your phone. Even if not actively used, they may collect data, such as browsing history and activity in other mobile apps. Removing them helps safeguard your privacy. 

Research Apps Before You Download 

Getting caught up in app fads is common, but it’s crucial to research before downloading. Check security and data collection keywords to inform yourself about potential risks to your device data and activity before installing any app. 

Shop on a Website Instead 

To reduce dangerous data collection by shopping apps, consider using the official website of legitimate companies. Most companies offer the same products through their websites, providing a safer alternative to app usage. 

Improve Your Mobile Device Security 

In the fast-paced world, mobile devices surpass computers in regular usage. However, they frequently lack equivalent security measures. At Cyber Express, we specialize in technology solutions to enhance security for mobile devices in Youngstown, Boardman, Mahoning County, Ohio.