If You Sell Online With a Phone App, You May be at Risk for Data Theft
The newest apps to hit smartphones are selling apps. There are at least a dozen of these applications that let you take a picture of the thing or things you want to sell and then post them. They work like this: you post an image or multiple images of something you want to sell, maybe a used bike, or your Ping-Pong ball collection, you add your price and you hit post; depending on the app’s rules, you can either meet the person and get paid for the item you’re selling or you can get paid via Paypal and mail the item. It’s like eBay without out the bidding. There have been many reported problems with the apps, namely issues with shady characters using the app to hit on women or men, thereby turning it into a dating app. Then there’s the old bait and switch, where shady sellers send something different than what they posted. There are scams with payments not going through after the item is received. All the usual suspects that have made eBay, and now Amazon, a bit of a rough ride have shown up. On the whole, though, some of the applications are found to be useful to those who do a lot of internet selling of various household or other items.
The biggest problem people should be concerned with is data theft. Many of these apps are taking, storing and selling your data including your name, address, phone number, email address, and even the things you are selling, sold or have purchased. Many of them work on a location methodology meaning it “needs” to track your location at all times so when you are selling it can find buyers close to you. This is a red flag for any app. No application except a mapping one should need access to your location. And even a map app doesn’t need your location all the time, only when you are using the app. It’s a little invasive to have these apps keeping track of your exact location, some won’t even let you set the general location and instead has known “exactly” where you are for some reason. A general location is more than sufficient for the purpose of selling to someone close by, further, you might want to only sell out of your own town for personal reasons like you don’t want to deal with selling to people you may know who might complain about something down the road. However, some of the apps won’t allow you to set your own location, instead, they use your phones tracking, which is not only weird, but also questionable.
If you notice a lot of battery drain the chances are good that the app is also sending data back to the developers. This is not respectful of your personal information private. If you don’t want your name to be posted online, you might want to avoid apps that require an excessive amount of personal data. If you find personal information is online you will want to remove your address from the internet. A good private data internet removal service can show you how to remove your information from the internet or they can do it for you. This takes so much time and effort out of your hands, that it’s worth any fee that is charged. The relief of knowing that they will delete information that you don’t want to be spread all over the internet is worth the small prices charged for such services. Be sure to check out any apps you download and make sure to safeguard your private data if you don’t want it online.