Unhand my data, homie! Here's how we can stay away and safe from invasive apps

With WhatsApp’s new privacy policy having everyone up in arms, The Coach tells us how we can stay away and safe from invasive apps
Pic: Edex Live
Pic: Edex Live

Privacy! The one thing we don’t seem to have nowadays! It’s actually SCARY and trust me, if you really delve into it, you’ll not only realise how much we’ve allowed technology to USE the US rather than the contrary but will also understand how dependent we are on the same. The irony is that most of us DON’T EVEN CARE if our privacy is compromised as long as we’re online.
Click the tick 
How many of us have actually taken the time to read Privacy Policy(s), EULAs (End-user licensing agreement policies), or even the Cookie Policy on the websites that we visit? There are two things that I want to express here: one, we should definitely PUT IN THE EFFORT to read what we’re sharing about ourselves. Two: we have to collectively revolt and ensure that these policies, agreements, forms are simplified to such a level that it is understood by the common man. 
WhatsApp WHAT APP?
The issue with the privacy policy changes of WhatsApp (that’s been popping up on all our screens, which many have aimlessly just pressed AGREE) is definitely what motivated me to write this piece today. It was quite shocking to know that WhatsApp is going to be collecting a lot of data of each and every one of us and selling it to marketing companies. The even bigger SHOCK was that Facebook Messenger collects information too! I found it extremely hard to digest the fact that these programs know me better than I know myself! 
What to do and how to be safe 
Well, this isn’t going to be an easy thing, simply because each of us has our own requirements and have different needs. Hence, I’ve given some simple pointers that can be understood by all, and then, the choice is left to each of you. 

1. Open source is the best:
Most people don’t understand the IMPORTANCE of using open-source software. Many feel that it is more SECURE because the code’s kept as a SECRET. But unfortunately, it is the contrary that works. 

2. Use software and apps that are ethical and moral: 
One site that’s really helped me choose the above is a website coincidentally named as ethical.net. This site helped me understand the data collection and privacy issues with different apps and which made me understand that Signal was the best alternative to WhatsApp and the next best alternative was Telegram. I use duckduckgo.com to search as it doesn’t collect my information. 

3. More permissions = More Invasion of privacy: 
One simple thumb rule is to carefully analyse the permissions an application asks when you install it on your smartphone. If it asks for too many or irrelevant permissions, I’d stay away from it. 

With Regards,
Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj
‘The Coach’

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