NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A lot of people are hooked on smartphones, tablets, and, of course, apps.
But those apps could have a dark side to them. They could be stealing sensitive information in ways that most users could never detect, CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported Monday night.
There are a dizzying array of apps available and many of them can be downloaded for free. But those harmless looking apps could be tracking your every move and selling your personal information, according to experts.
“You’re exact address is in it, so you go home. As soon as you turn the flashlight on it knows exactly where you are and where you live. They want to know where you are so they can target advertising to you and sell that information,” cyber security expert Mike Scheidell said.
Pandora’s free music app can read your phone status, track you, and read your contact information.
LinkedIn’s business networking app can find your birthday, your phone number, or your address, all of which can be used to compromise banking credentials.
From Angry Birds, background wallpaper, and music server Shazam, a number of the most popular mobile apps are capable of sharing your personal information.
App developers told CBS 2’s Gainer that they do not disclose personal data to third parties without user permission. Most users of free, unsecured Wi-Fi access that can be picked up by hackers who can also access personal data and the stealth campaign to get to your personal information could be part of a growing trend, according to experts.
“I would say it’s going to get worse. Everybody wants more things for free and the applications and the advertisers and thieves are going to learn how to steal your information,” Scheidell said.
As many as one-third of Android apps may have the ability to collect personal data, according to a recent study.
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