Here at KRS, we strive to stay on top of our line of work. Yes, it goes without saying within the office or on the field. But this also includes what is surrounding us: media, news and reports, etc. Why you ask? This is simply because any bit of information is vital these days, especially for what us as humans, put out there for others to see and have access to. As we had brought up in our earlier blog, and to sort of recap, although TikTok is merely a social media, entertainment-based app, it is actually considered to be a huge Cybersecurity threat. At least that’s what the FCC Commissioner believes, along with other investigators. And apparently TikTok is not the only application to be spamming and having access to their user’s data.
Here's the main concern and focus we need to be aware of. The primary concern is how companies collect and use information about their users through social media platforms. It's possible for hackers to use personal information gained from these platforms to take advantage of individuals or businesses by offering services that are false or misleading, such as spam emails or phishing scams intended to steal personal information such as login credentials or credit card numbers.
At this time, it remains unclear whether any such threats have been made against Americans using TikTok; however, it seems likely given China's history of hacking into other countries' systems with malicious intent (e.g., 2016 hack on Uyghur Muslims).
TikTok collects browser history, keystrokes, user data, and biometric identifiers.
We mentioned that the app has the capability for spamming, but also to collect user data. How much information can it pull you ask? The app collects browser history, keystrokes, user data, and biometric identifiers. It is not the only social media app that does this. The FCC may believe it to be a security threat because TikTok is not required to follow American law on privacy issues.
Facebook and Instagram also have issues with cyber security.
While TikTok may be under fire for collecting data on minors, it is not the only social media app with a security risk. Other popular apps such as Facebook and Instagram have also been criticized for collecting personal information from users.
Facebook has been criticized for allowing third-party apps to access user data without consent. Thousands of users have filed lawsuits against them due to this issue. When questioned about their policy on user privacy and security by lawmakers during testimony before Congress earlier this year, Zuckerberg said that he would be "happy" to testify again if asked about these allegations.
However, he did not clarify whether or not his company would take any action against developers who violated its policies regarding data collection or misuse.
Again, it’s safe to say that although these are your typical, everyday-use applications, and harmless to some, it is apparent that the appropriate precautions are necessary to be taken.
If you continue to utilize TikTok or any app, for that matter, be very specific and cautious about the level of permissions you are allowed to share. Our President and Founder of KRS is very hands-on involved in Cyber Security and safety precautions. He has even written a book, going in further on this topic and the safety precautions you can take to better secure yourself and your business too.
Be sure to check in with us for the 3rd part of this blog’s topic, where we will discuss and explain the steps to take, so to keep yourself from getting hacked! Remember, always be prepared, as evil is always lurking…sorry, just had to slip this in there for spooky Cybersecurity month.