Recent allegations that the TikTok app closely monitors user activity has raised a number of concerns about privacy when using mobile devices. This is just another reminder that we all need to understand the privacy issues with our smart phones and the apps we use. In fact CSO Magazine listed the number one mobile security threat in 2020 to be "data leakage", often due to unnecessary permissions given to mobile apps. Fortunately, for your clients as well as for you as a consumer, you have the ability to take control of your mobile device privacy.
Seven Top Practices to Protect Your Privacy on a Mobile Device
When using your mobile device, consider the following:
1. The privacy aspects related to social media posts, especially if it involves others or make public your location.
2. Only download apps from legitimate app stores, such as the Apple Store and the Google Play Store. Leverage app ratings and download counts to stay away from sketchy apps or imposters.
3. Keep your mobile device operating system and apps up to date so that known security issues are addressed.
4. To help avoid any potential issues with updating and tracking, delete unused apps from your devices. These unused apps may be sharing information that you would rather keep private.
5. Review your location sharing settings and ensure that only apps that actually need to know your location, such as navigation or ride hailing apps, have permission to your location information.
6. Allowing access "Only While Using the App" can help limit data collection without interfering with the app's functionality.
7. Grant as few permissions as necessary to other apps for things like your microphone, camera, photos, and so on.
8. Take advantage of any system or app settings that allow users to control advertising tracking features.
Family Offices and Business Managers should have policies in regards to mobile devices and social media posts that extend to office staff as well as household staff such as live-in care takers.
Photo sharing apps have the ability to reveal where the photo was taken, which could reveal the location of vacation homes and yachts that family may not want public.
For example, one family took a number of precautions to keep the ownership of their yacht private. All it took was one social media post that alerted someone of the location of the yacht, which then was used to determine the ownership of the yacht. The family ended up selling the yacht at a significant loss in order to maintain their privacy.
In another example, a post by a care taker contained an image of expensive artwork in the background. This is information that family would not want made public.
This is why it is important to have policies in place and to educate clients and family members on how they can protect themselves.
This blog post is for informational and educational purposes only.
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