TechShielder’s new study has set out to discover which popular communication, social, and entertainment apps are the most likely to be hacked and the types of data that would be compromised if they were attacked.
The study also looks at the Google search volume of various terms related to hacking in OECD capitals to determine the cities where people are most at risk of being victims of cybercrime.
Facebook is the most frequently hacked app in the world
TechShielder’s study found that Facebook users are most likely to become victims of cyber hacking, with the app collecting and storing the largest amount of data on its users.
These data points include personal details, files on our devices, general online activity, contacts and device details, and in-app data. Of all these data points, Facebook collects 70%.
The term ‘Facebook hacked’ is searched on average 550,000 times per month, and we can see a correlation between the top five apps being hacked and the amount of data they store on their users.
TechShielder’s study found that all of the apps analysed store users’ phone numbers and email addresses, as well as mentioning in their terms that they can share this information with third parties, should they wish. 90% of the apps also store users’ full names, credit card information and cookies.
The study also found that 70% of apps store profile images, and 60% of apps store data on their users’ conversations with others. This means a cyber security breach could be detrimental, with hackers potentially having access to copious amounts of information on their victims.
London named the capital city where your data is most likely to be compromised
TechShielder researched OECD capital cities to reveal which one has the highest search volume for relevant queries about the most popular apps being hacked. The UK’s capital sees 4,260 searches made on average, per month, around hacking attempts on popular apps.
How to protect your privacy and data when using apps and platforms online?
If you want to make use of the many apps that are available but are concerned about the risk of being hacked and your data being compromised, TechShielder’s VPN expert, Lasse Walstad, recommends:
- Installing a VPN will mean your whole network and devices connected to your internet will be protected. The VPN will conceal your device’s IP addresses and encrypt your data, allowing you to use your devices safely and anonymously.
- If a hacker does retrieve your login information, two-factor authentication (2FA) can still prevent them from accessing your account. When you use 2FA, you must provide your username, password, and additional verification (usually a one-time code generated on your smartphone) to access your account.
- This helps keep your account safe even in a breach, as the hacker will not have access to all of these systems.The easiest way to reduce your online vulnerability is to reduce the amount of information you provide to apps and platforms.
- Upon registering for an account, only give them access to the information they need, and make sure you read the full terms and conditions before using the app, so you can understand how much of your information could be at risk.