Police warn parents of 14 apps that could be dangerous for kids

LAS VEGAS (KSNV) – Law enforcement agencies across the country are warning parents of 14 popular apps that could put kids in danger of predators.

Police are urging parents to check their children’s phones and the apps on their devices as this is the best way to defend against possible predators.

Some tips to protect children according to police are:

  • Approve every app on your kid’s phone
  • Check their privacy settings
  • Speak with your children about phone use, app use and social media

14 apps that police say could be dangerous for children. (Source:Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office’ Facebook)

Here are the 14 apps police say parents need to be aware of:

SNAPCHAT: allows users to take pictures and videos that disappear with new features like ‘stories’ that allow users to view content for 24 hours and see your location.

KIK: allows anyone to direct message instead of text messaging and gives unlimited access to anyone, anytime.

YELLOW: allows teens to flirt with one other similar to Tinder.

HOLLA: video chat app that allows users to meet through their phones across the world in seconds.

OMEGLE: allows users to chat for free and encourages anonymous chatting with strangers.

BUMBLE: similar to Tinder, a dating app that requires women to make first contact, though kids are known to create fake accounts and falsify their age.

WISHBONE: allows users to compare photos to each other and rate one another on a scale.

CALCULATOR%: secret app that allows users to hide photos, videos, files and browser history.

ASK.FM: notorious for cyberbullying, this app encourages to anonymously message others to ask questions.

WHISPER: anonymous social media app that allows users to share secrets with others and can share users’ locations so they can meet.

BURNBOOK: allows users to post anonymous rumors through text, audio and pictures.

HOT OR NOT: allows users to rate profiles and find people in their area and chat.

LIVE.ME: live streaming app that uses geolocation to share videos so users can see the broadcaster’s location.

INSTAGRAM: one of the most popular apps among children, kids are known to use this app for fake accounts and to text since the conversation is deleted when someone leaves the chat.

These are only examples of potentially dangerous apps, and parents should monitor all apps and note if they offer messaging features.

[“source=katv”]

Cyber-security researchers warn of messenger apps with spy software

Sonic-spy infused apps have the ability to record audio, take photos with the device’s camera, make calls, send text messages and retrieve data from contacts and call logs. Photograph: iStock

Sonic-spy infused apps have the ability to record audio, take photos with the device’s camera, make calls, send text messages and retrieve data from contacts and call logs. Photograph: iStock

Cyber-security researchers have warned against using certain phone messenger applications because they have the capability to steal data from the devices they infect.

The researchers from SophosLabs, an IT security product company, have identified three cases of “‘sonic-spy” infused apps in Google Play, the official app store for Android devices.

According to Bill Brenner from Sophos, sonic-spy infused apps have the ability to record audio, take photos with the device’s camera, make calls, send text messages, and retrieve data from contacts and call logs.

Identified apps

Mr Brenner identified the apps that can hide their spying functionality as Soniac, Hulk Messenger, and Troy Chat. It is understood that Google removed the apps from its store after they were discovered.

“Google gets criticism when these things are found on Google Play but when they are found they generally take them down. They try to screen as much of this stuff as possible, but it’s difficult,” Mr Brenner told The Irish Times.

Asked how consumers come across this sort of app in the first place, Mr Brenner said: “When a person is downloading an app that turns out to be malicious, almost never are they aware that it’s malicious. Maybe they find an app that looks like a WhatsApp type of programme and they decide that they want it, or they find an app that looks like a good delivery conduit for music . . . and its typically unbeknownst to the user that there’s code baked into some of these apps that allow the bad guys to go through their contacts, get access to their camera, go through their text messages and ultimately getting into banking apps.”

Sonic-spy apps

Added to the three apps identified on Google’s platform, SophosLabs counted 3,240 sonic-spy apps in total, while some reports put the number as high as 4,000. “The average Android user isn’t going to know what techniques the malware used to reach their device’s doorstep, but they can do much to keep it from getting in,” Mr Brenner said.

He advised users to stick to Google Play, avoid apps with a poor reputation, and ensure the software on your phone is as up-to-date as possible.

Asked whether users of Apple’s IOS system could be affected by similar apps, Mr Brenner said that while there is malware designed to affect Apple users, it’s a lot harder to get apps into its app store than it is with Google.

[“Source-irishtimes”]

EU Privacy Watchdogs Warn WhatsApp on Privacy Policy, Yahoo on Breach

EU Privacy Watchdogs Warn WhatsApp on Privacy Policy, Yahoo on Breach

HIGHLIGHTS

  • EU sent letters to WhatsApp and Yahoo
  • Said they had concerns about WhatsApp’s recent change in privacy policy
  • Asked Yahoo to communicate all aspects of the data breach

European privacy watchdogs said on Friday they had sent letters to WhatsApp over its sharing of information with parent company Facebook and Yahoo over a 2014 data breach and its scanning of customer emails for US intelligence purposes.

European Union data protection authorities said they had serious concerns about WhatsApp’s recent change in privacy policy in which it would share users’ phone numbers with Facebook, its first change in policy since Facebook bought the messaging service.

The authorities, known as the Article 29 Working Party, “requested WhatsApp to communicate all relevant information to the Working Party as soon as possible and urged the company to pause the sharing of users’ data until the appropriate legal protections could be assured.”

A spokeswoman for WhatsApp said the company was working with data protection authorities to address their questions.”We’ve had constructive conversations, including before our update, and we remain committed to respecting applicable law,” she said.

The watchdogs also wrote to Yahoo over a massive data breach that exposed the email credentials of 500 million users, as well as its scanning of customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by US intelligence officials.

They asked the company to communicate all aspects of the data breach to the EU authorities, to notify the affected users of the “adverse effects” and to cooperate with all “upcoming national data protection authorities’ enquiries and/or investigations.

“Yahoo was invited to provide information on the legal basis and the compatibility with EU law of any such activity,” the watchdogs said in a statement regarding the email scanning.

The Yahoo and WhatsApp cases will be discussed by regulators in November.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: WhatsApp, Yahoo, Yahoo Mail, Privacy, Encryption, European Union, EU, Apps, Internet
[“Source-Gadgets”]

EU Privacy Watchdogs Warn WhatsApp on Privacy Policy, Yahoo on Breach

EU Privacy Watchdogs Warn WhatsApp on Privacy Policy, Yahoo on Breach

HIGHLIGHTS

  • EU sent letters to WhatsApp and Yahoo
  • Said they had concerns about WhatsApp’s recent change in privacy policy
  • Asked Yahoo to communicate all aspects of the data breach

European privacy watchdogs said on Friday they had sent letters to WhatsApp over its sharing of information with parent company Facebook and Yahoo over a 2014 data breach and its scanning of customer emails for US intelligence purposes.

European Union data protection authorities said they had serious concerns about WhatsApp’s recent change in privacy policy in which it would share users’ phone numbers with Facebook, its first change in policy since Facebook bought the messaging service.

The authorities, known as the Article 29 Working Party, “requested WhatsApp to communicate all relevant information to the Working Party as soon as possible and urged the company to pause the sharing of users’ data until the appropriate legal protections could be assured.”

A spokeswoman for WhatsApp said the company was working with data protection authorities to address their questions.”We’ve had constructive conversations, including before our update, and we remain committed to respecting applicable law,” she said.

The watchdogs also wrote to Yahoo over a massive data breach that exposed the email credentials of 500 million users, as well as its scanning of customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by US intelligence officials.

They asked the company to communicate all aspects of the data breach to the EU authorities, to notify the affected users of the “adverse effects” and to cooperate with all “upcoming national data protection authorities’ enquiries and/or investigations.

“Yahoo was invited to provide information on the legal basis and the compatibility with EU law of any such activity,” the watchdogs said in a statement regarding the email scanning.

The Yahoo and WhatsApp cases will be discussed by regulators in November.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: WhatsApp, Yahoo, Yahoo Mail, Privacy, Encryption, European Union, EU, Apps, Internet
[“Source-Gadgets”]