TeenSafe App Leaks Apple ID Credentials of Thousands of Parents, Children

TeenSafe App Leaks Apple ID Credentials of Thousands of Parents, Children

HIGHLIGHTS

  • TeenSafe app is found to have leaked user data
  • It reportedly exposed Apple IDs and their passwords in plaintext
  • The vulnerable servers have been disabled

TeenSafe, an app that lets parents monitor their children’s text messages, social media, and phone location, is found to have leaked data related to thousands of its users that include both parents as well as children. The data, which was reportedly stored on two of the vulnerable servers backed by Amazon Web Services, compresses the email addresses of parents that are associated with the teen monitoring app, alongside the Apple IDs of children and their plaintext passwords. It is also said that at least 10,200 records from the past three months were put at risk.

UK-based security researcher Robert Wiggins reported that two of the TeenSafe servers had exposed the user data, as spotted by ZDNet. While the company pulled the affected servers shortly after it received an alert, ZDNet was able to verify some of the data exposed. It is reported that the servers were unprotected and accessible without requiring a password. Further, as the app asks users to disable the two-factor authentication, attackers can view personal data only using the credentials that surfaced on the servers.

Among other data surfaced, there were the email addresses and passwords of the parents using the TeenSafe app in addition to the email address of children that were used as their Apple ID. It is also reported the device names of children who were being tracked using the app were spotted alongside their device’s unique identifier. Likewise, the data also included error messages associated with a failed account action – in some instances highlighting the time when parents weren’t able to identify their children’s real-time location. All this was notably stored in plaintext instead of under any encryption. However, the company claims on its website that its app is “secure” and uses encryption to protect the data.

ZDNet’s Whittaker verified the leak by reaching out the parents whose email addressed were spotted in the leaked data. Moreover, various email addresses of children were found to be associated with their high schools.

“We have taken action to close one of our servers to the public and begun alerting customers that could potentially be impacted,” a TeenSafe spokesperson said in a statement to ZDNet.

Since the vulnerable servers are no longer live for access, attackers won’t be able to obtain the data. However, TeenSafe hasn’t provided any clarity on how it is set to protect their servers in future.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Facebook Announces a New Sleep Mode for Messenger Kids App

Facebook Announces a New Sleep Mode for Messenger Kids App

In an effort to give more control to parents, Facebookhas launched a Sleep Mode in its Messenger Kids that will allow parents to set predetermined “off times” for the app on a child’s device. When the app is in Sleep Mode, kids cannot send or receive messages or video calls, play with the creative camera or receive notifications. If they try to open the app, they’ll see a message telling them that it’s in sleep mode and to come back later.

“Parents told us they would like controls that make the app inaccessible at a certain time, like during dinner, homework time or bedtime. We took this feedback to heart and built a feature that gives that level of control to parents,” Tarunya Govindarajan, Product Manager at Facebook, said in a blog post.

With Sleep Mode, parents can set a designated off time and each day at the designated time, the app will “go to sleep” and not be accessible to kids during those hours. The mode is controlled from the Parent Control centre in the parent’s Facebook account and the “off times” can be changed at any time.

How Messenger Kids’ Sleep Mode works

Go to the Messenger Kids controls in the main Facebook app. Tap on the child’s name, and then on Sleep Mode in the App Controls’ section. Now, set the times you want the app to turn off for your child.

You can set different times for weekdays versus weekends. Once you set the limits, the child will not be able to use the app during those hours. Parents can access all of their controls from the Messenger Kids controls in the main Facebook app.

“In addition to Sleep Mode, parents can add and remove contacts, delete the child’s account, or create a new account right from the control panel,” the post added.

Since its launch in December 2017, Messenger Kids is facing widespread criticism for encouraging children to join social media. Child health experts the world over have written to Facebook to withdraw the app designed specifically for children under the age of 13.

British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in December warned the social media giant to stay away from his children.

“Facebook told me they would come back with ideas to PREVENT underage use of their product, but instead they are actively targeting younger children. Stay away from my kids please Facebook and act responsibly!” Hunt had posted on Twitter.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Samsung Max App With Data Saving and Privacy Protection Features Released

Samsung Max App With Data Saving and Privacy Protection Features Released

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Samsung Max app has been released
  • The app is available for select Galaxy devices
  • Replaces the Opera Max app on Galaxy A and Galaxy J handsets

Samsung on Friday released an Android app that is designed to offer mobile data savings and privacy management. Called Samsung Max, the new app is designed by Samsung R&D Institute India and is available for free download on Google Play and Galaxy App store for select Galaxy devices. The proprietary app will also come preloaded on all Galaxy A and Galaxy J series handsets in a few emerging markets, including India, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam – replacing the recently discontinued Opera Max app.

Similar to Google’s Datally that was launched in last November, the Samsung Max offers foreground data compression service that allows you to reduce data consumption from your installed apps. The app also has the functionality to block background data and data access for any app. It compresses webpages, photos, videos, and media within apps and browser to drop data consumption. Similarly, it lets you manage data permissions for specific apps and customise data consumption for existing apps to save your data for other useful tasks.

Alongside offering data savings and data compression features, Samsung Max provides regular reports to let you see which of your favourite apps are consuming the most of your data limit. The app also has a boost Wi-Fi feature that is touted to uplift connectivity even in a crowded Wi-Fi hotspot or at a weak signal area.

Samsung has provided a bunch of features that are specific to security as well. Primarily, the Samsung Max app not just compress but also encrypt all the network traffic that flows from your apps using Samsung’s in-house servers. The South Korean company also claims that has been using a “bank-grade”, secure network experience. In the same vein, there is Samsung Max’ data-savings cloud access make data usage efficient and secure from third-party services.

The Samsung Max app encrypts data when it is sent through a public Wi-Fi network. Likewise, there are features such as tracker blocking and DNS masking to offer a secured Web browsing experience. You can view privacy reports to see how the app adds security to other apps and network connections.

While the Samsung Max by default serves ads, you can choose whether to view ads inside the app or on the lock screen only while your device is plugged in and charging. The latter can be enabled by switching to the premium mode.

“At Samsung, we’ve been committed to creating inclusive data saving and privacy protection services for all our devices. Because of this, we are now introducing Samsung Max to our mid-range devices as an exclusive and unique service that sets Samsung devices apart from the rest of the smartphone market,” said Seounghoon Oh, Vice President Samsung R&D Institute India.

It is worth noting here that the Samsung Max app is presently incompatible with devices other than the eligible Samsung devices. You can check whether it is compatible with your Galaxy handset by visiting Google Play or Galaxy App store.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Apple Now Allows Developers to Add Up to 10 Screenshots on App Store

Apple Now Allows Developers to Add Up to 10 Screenshots on App Store

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Developers on the App Store can now add up to 10 screenshots
  • Previously, up to five screenshots per device form factor were allowed
  • The new change doesn’t affect apps listed in the Mac App Store

Apple has now allowed app developers to add as many as up to 10 screenshots per device form factor for their apps listings on the App Store. The new change has increased the maximum number of screenshots that can be added to app listings on the App Store from the previous limit of five screenshots per device. The change is applicable to the App Store for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV, and it doesn’t affect the number of screenshots displayed in search results. This means search results will still include three portrait screenshots or one horizontal screenshot.

“You can now display up to 10 screenshots on your product page on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV, to show customers more of your app’s experience,” reads the announcement on the Apple Developer site. The latest development is mainly aimed at helping developers attract new users by showing different features of their apps.

As reported by 9to5Mac, developers can submit up to 10 screenshots for each device form factor their apps support, across all iOS devices as well as 1080p and 4K Apple TV resolutions and Apple Watch form factors. To give more visual cues about their apps in addition to static screenshots, developers have also been provided with the ability to add three video previews.

Notably, Apple hasn’t yet applied the new changes for apps available on the Mac App Store. This means that the apps listed on the Mac App Store will continue to come with up to five screenshots.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]