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Third Party Apps, a Growing Security Concern

Third Party Apps, a Growing Security Concern - The Beacon


By: Wes

Third Party Apps, a Growing Security Concern

Nowadays, it appears like there is always a new security breach or leak. It seems like nothing is safe; the websites we order from, the restaurants we eat at, even the brick and mortar stores we buy our groceries from. Your BBB® is always looking out for you. Recently there was an announcement that the popular mobile apps Snapchat and Dropbox were hacked.

For those of you that don’t know: Dropbox is a free app that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily, all while being password protected. Snapchat is another user to user photo sharing app, with a twist. The sender can actually put a timer for how long the receiver can view the picture, essentially the picture self-destructs. The picture is then deleted, from the senders phone, the receivers phone and supposedly even from Snapchat’s servers.

When news of the supposed breach got out, the two companies were quick to get ahead of the issue. The companies discovered that it wasn’t their servers that got hacked at all, third party apps were to blame.  

Third party apps are independent apps that users download as extensions or piggybacks of the original app. Snapchat users were downloading homegrown apps that did what Snapchat did not let them do, save the supposed self-destructed pictures. Dropbox hackers were able to breach other third party apps and then were able to capitalize on users that use the same log in information.

Third party apps are everywhere. People should be very cautious when using these as they can be easier targets for hackers than their parent software programs. So keep that in mind when you use third-party apps. Snapchat, for its part, reminded users that it discourages the use of third-party apps like Snapsaved and in a statement reiterated that such apps violate its terms of use. Also, in a blog post, Dropbox told its users that their data was safe. It urged them “not to reuse passwords across services” and recommended they enable two-step verification.

Your BBB recommends the following ways to protect yourself:

                -Never use the same login information. Always try and use a different password.

                -When possible, use two step authentication.

                -Always be careful when it comes to third party apps. Do some research before downloading.

-If there are sensitive photos or information on your devices that you do not want hacked. Don’t have it on there.

Also, don’t forget that you can always Start With Trust® and contact your BBB with any concerns. We can be contact at our website or via phone at 812-473-0202.

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Wes was the Director of Business Affairs and Development at the Tri-State Better Business Bureau.