How 12 Popular Apps Use Your Teen’s Info

Teens using popular social apps

by Matthew Golabek & Trevor Morgan

From calorie counters to food delivery services to secret and deceptive “vaults” to hide info from parents, millions of humans are tethered to smartphones as if they were their only lifeline. With the convenience, however, comes potential risks for the user.

IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2019 identified the following startling figures:

  • Average total cost of a data breach: $3.92 million;
  • Average size of data breach: 25,575 records;
  • Time to identify and contain a breach: 279 days;
  • Highest country average cost: United States, $8.19 million; and
  • 2019 odds of a data breach within two years: 29.6%, up from 27.9 in 2018.

While these data critically inform decisions and actions taken by CEOs, investigative analysts, and cybersecurity professionals in an effort to protect a company’s assets, they are also important to the average consumer.

Take for example, the popular app, MyFitnessPal. In February 2019, it was reported that 151 million accounts were breached and being sold on Dream Market, a nefarious site on the anonymous Dark Web where drugs, stolen data, and counterfeit consumer goods were being sold. It closed “shop” a month later, with rumors that law enforcement had been breathing down its cyber neck. Another popular app, DoorDash, had a data breach of 5 million records in 2019.

This new Hg blog series is based on our February FactSheet, What the APP?! Top Social Media APPS and the Lowdown on What Info They Collect, in which our seasoned analysts compiled a list of popular apps used by teenagers and adults to better inform readers of what information each app is collecting. You can download the full FactSheet for free, and we encourage you to share it with others.

 

Matthew Golabek is an investigative analyst at Hetherington Group, where he specializes in online risk assessments. Mr. Golabek has a keen eye for extracting content from social media accounts, tracking activities and monitoring subjects for clients from a wide range of industries, including pharmaceutical, technological, retail, and entertainment. He is a contributing writer to Hg’s Data2Know, Industry Undercover, and OSINT Slack channels. On his lunch break, he can be found outside playing frisbee with his four-legged colleagues.

 

 

Trevor is an investigative analyst at Hetherington Group, where he uses his open source research skills to extract data from social media accounts, conduct risk assessments, and monitor subjects for clients in pharma, tech, retail, and entertainment. He is a contributing writer to Hg’s Data2Know, Industry Undercover, and OSINT Slack channels. On his lunch break, he can be found outside playing frisbee with his four-legged colleagues.