Is Online Shopping Violating Your Privacy? - STG

Is Online Shopping Violating Your Privacy?

Most people these days are engaging in online shopping. It’s easy and convenient. Why leave the comfort of our homes to shop? But have you ever stopped to wonder, is online shopping violating your privacy? As easy it has become to shop online, there are growing concerns for security and privacy.

Not all shopping apps are made equal. People install some of these apps out of excitement and don’t stop to consider the privacy policies. You might not be aware of how much data your phone’s apps are gathering. If you use your phone for personal or professional purposes, your data may be at risk. And so can your privacy.

Shady Data Collecting from SHEIN Shopping App

Security experts recently discovered popular shopping apps are spying on users’ copy-and-paste behaviors. The apps track users’ keystrokes, screenshots, and even GPS locations. This begs the question, is your shopping app violating your privacy?

SHEIN, the app in question, is a well-liked retail app with millions of users. Researchers reportedly discovered the app is storing information on users’ clipboards. This includes any text that users copy and paste. It implies that these apps have access to sensitive information if the user copy-and-pastes things like credit card information and passwords.

Not only that, but these apps are tracking GPS locations. SHEIN is also gathering information from device sensors, including the accelerometer and gyroscope. This indicates that the software follows users’ locations. As well as collecting information on how they use their device.

According to app creators. the intention of this data collection is to “optimize the user experience.” A rather hazy justification. The creators claim that the information is only used internally. However, privacy experts are not happy with this justification.

Temu Data Collection Methods Under Investigation

This isn’t the first time that data has been taken by an app without the users’ knowledge. Many well-known apps gather user data and often use it for targeted advertising.

Temu is a shopping app with a recent jump in popularity. People have been gathering to the app ever since it was shown in a Super Bowl advertisement in 2023.

Temu is another shopping app with questionable means of collecting data. Temu gathers data like:

  • Name, address, and contact info
  • Information you enter, like birthday, photos, social profiles
  • Your operating systems
  • Your IPS address and GPS location
  • Browsing history

So, if you’d like to know how to use online shopping apps while maintaining privacy, keep reading.

Privacy Tips for Online Shopping Apps

Understand What You Download (Privacy Policies)

No one wants to stop and read an app’s lengthy privacy policy. Unfortunately, if you don’t, you can end up sharing a lot more information than you realize.

Make sure to read an app’s privacy statement before downloading. You’ll better understand what data these apps collect and their intentions. Try using the search terms “collect” and “your data” to save time. You can quickly see data-gathering details by doing this.

After reading, you might end up changing your mind about downloading. You might decide the app isn’t worth it after you learn how much data is takes from you.

Disable Sharing Features

In your phone’s settings, disable any data-sharing functions you don’t need. Like location-based services. The majority of smartphones let you choose which apps you want to use them with.

To limit data sharing as much as possible, go through both the settings on your phone and on the app.

Delete Apps You Don’t Use

If you don’t use an app, delete it. It’s dangerous to have unused apps on your phone. These apps have the ability to gather data even when they are inactive. For example, the browsing activity in other mobile apps.

Research Apps Before Downloading

Fads are easy to get caught up in. You might want to research the popular app your friends are talking about before downloading. Doing your homework can really pay off. Look up the app and look for keywords related to data collecting and security. Before downloading an app that might compromise data, educate yourself.

Shop on a Website Instead

To reduce the risk of an app collecting your data, use the website instead. The majority of trustworthy businesses have a website. One where you can make the exact same purchase that you can make in the app.

Boost Your Mobile Device Security 

More people use their phones than PCs. But they often don’t have the same level of security. Call us today to arrange a conversation about safeguarding the data on your mobile device.

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