The internet is a place where good and evil roam free. It’s a place that’s a utopian democracy. Anyone can say whatever they want, upload images of what they want, and harm whoever they want. Some people like to impersonate others and talk to kids with the intent to harm.
If you don’t teach your kids how to use it, the internet can become dangerous. That’s one of the reasons why so many parents install tracking apps on their children’s devices. By doing that, you can sleep with peace of mind that if they click on something terrible, they won’t be able to access it, and you’ll get a notification. Plus, there’s the added GPS tracking feature where you know where they are at all times.
Everyone had the same opinion of these child-tracking apps until new research showed that they are not as secure as they say, and they spy on the parents too. The team at Cybernews reviewed the top 10 apps with hundreds of millions of downloads, shocking their published results.
The apps are not secure
The CEO of Prevailion, a cyber intelligence company, compared the apps to making cheap sausage. No one knew what kinds of ingredients were being used. That’s the perfect way to explain how these child-tracking apps were developed. First of all, most of them didn’t have SSL certificates.
This made them vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks where hackers can intercept your communication with a router and infiltrate your device. That’s true for both the parent and child devices. Not only that, but the developers could also spy on everything you were doing while the app was installed. If the users didn’t have a VPN installed, their information was probably compromised.
Almost all of the apps that were analyzed used open-source code. This means they didn’t have an internal team working on robust mechanics that made the code secure. Hackers can immediately find workarounds and steal information when they see public and open source code. The primary presumption is that these apps wanted to maximize their profits as much as possible and cut costs simultaneously.
Selling children’s data
When you download a child tracker, the app’s primary purpose is to tell you what your kid is doing online. But, ironically, the apps had additional trackers to see what you’re doing. Here’s where things get dark.
If your child sends sensitive or inappropriate pictures, the app could store them in a database. This isn’t the case only for photographs. Email, passwords, credit card information, and security phrases are true. If the company wants, it can sell all this data to someone else. Even worse, if they get hacked, this information can be leaked publicly online or used for ransom.
What should you do?
As a parent, you want to control what your kids are doing online. Your first instinct might be to install new apps that are more secure. But there’s another way to approach the situation. Install an antivirus and a VPN for Chrome on all devices.
This way, everything your kids do will be private online. No one will know who they are, and they won’t be able to target them. The antivirus will scan every file they download and check whether it contains malware. The VPN will hide their IP address and make them immune to hacker attacks and data breaches. This way, you’re protecting all of their data from leaking online.
Finally, for the tracking part, you can install a keylogger that checks what they’re typing into the device. As a bonus, you can check their browser history or use the built-in operating system parental controls. There’s no need to install other third-party apps that plan on selling your data on the dark web.
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