Think about all the apps on your phone, and how many of them contain potentially sensitive information. You might have social media accounts, banking details and health records.
You might think apps like that would take your personal information seriously – especially when the subject matter can be sensitive. We all know by now that’s definitely not always the case, and plenty of apps have been known to expose user data. And here we go again.
In the latest version of its Privacy Not Included report, tech company Mozilla found numerous apps that deal with with topics like mental health are not as secure as you would think. Read on for the biggest offenders that fail at protecting your data and what you can do about it.
Here’s the backstory
Countless apps go through a series of checks before being approved for an official app store, but how they handle your data isn’t always the criteria for admittance. Thankfully, Mozilla routinely checks app stores for data offenders and adds them to its Privacy Not Included report.
In the latest guide to its growing repository, the company included a slew of mental health and prayer applications. Unfortunately, even though the apps deal with sensitive topics such as depression, many share user data or allow weak passwords.
To compile the list, Mozilla checks for various things, like personal and biometric data, how an app uses it and whether you have control over your data. It also factors in the app’s known track record of protecting users’ data and then assigns the app a score based on Mozilla’s Minimum Security Standards.
The apps that fail at protecting your data
Here are the 10 biggest offenders that made it into the latest report:
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The app offers online therapy for teens and couples. But Mozilla points out that it “comes with a fair amount of baggage.” The app collects a lot of medical information, but while it says it won’t sell it to third parties, it doesn’t mention non-medical data.
Mental health with a dose of privacy concerns
This app is a resource for treating anxiety and depression, but it gets a “super creepy” rating from Mozilla. While the app collects information that you supply, it states that it also gathers “information stored on your mobile device, including in other applications.”
This isn’t a typical warning about malicious apps with hidden viruses or other immediate threats we would urge you deal with immediately. But they do pose a risk to your privacy and at the very least, you should check the account security of any apps on the list above before deciding to continue using them. You can see Mozilla’s full report by tapping or clicking here.
By the way, two apps that seem to do a good job of protecting user data made Mozilla’s “not creepy” list, including PTSD Coach and Wysa.
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