Safer Internet Day 2024 has arrived amidst concerns about limited access imposed on various popular apps. As a result, users are resorting to downloading replacements to bypass the new rules. This day is recognized annually as a crucial reminder of the significance of safeguarding personal information in our digital world. Experts at Kaspersky emphasize the critical need for users to proactively approach their data security.
In 2023, several countries debated restricting access to certain popular apps in Brazil, Ireland, and Japan. In the United States, discussions on limiting access to TikTok resulted in imposing restrictions on the Chinese app on government-owned devices in more than half of the states. However, customers are not always willing to give up their favorite apps, which leads to users looking for alternative ways of accessing content, such as installing replacement apps or bootlegged copies.
The fake downloads used by people trying to bypass the restrictions are usually poorly developed and have vague privacy policies. Some of these applications even violate users’ rights altogether. Moreover, most of these alternative apps tend to disappear after a while for various reasons, such as insufficient numbers of users, which means that sensitive data might end up in the hands of third parties.
To avoid such unpleasant scenarios, Kaspersky experts are sharing several tips:
There is no need to rush when it comes to installing anything on your devices
Discussions regarding any limitations on an app do not necessarily lead to its prohibition. Rushing to find an alternative may mean putting your information at risk, as these types of apps or pirated copies of services may not care enough about the safety of users’ personal data. Before installing anything unverified on any device, it’s always worth weighing out the pros and cons. Official app stores always remain the best and safest option.
It’s always a good idea to learn about your privacy rights
Data oversharing is not a safe option
It’s always better to minimize the amount of data an app collects about you, as there’s a risk of inadvertent disclosure or misuse of personal data due to insufficient data security measures.
Moreover, once personal data is shared, controlling its distribution and use is often difficult, potentially leading to long-term privacy issues. To prevent such issues, consider limiting access to the photo feed, contacts, and location of the apps that can function without it. This also applies to the microphone: limited access will ensure applications don’t collect personal data while overhearing what you say.
Modern security solutions can keep personal data safe online
Modern security solutions can block apps from accessing personal information, alert users if their phone numbers and other data have been leaked, and warn them if a malicious file has been downloaded. Some services help improve personal data security by following simple instructions.