- April 8, 2019 at 14:14 #2627
Many people around the globe are increasingly using ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft. The popularity of using these applications has grown tremendously in recent years due to their convenience. The popularity of traditional taxis has dropped significantly due to the emergence of ridesharing apps. Pricing options, instant confirmation of rides, the variety of choice and ease of use has contributed to an inseparable blend of technology and transportation. However, the different services offered by the ridesharing applications require information like payment information and real-time location from the rider. While this information is key to facilitate a ride, the applications also risk riders information if it’s mishandled.
What type of information is collected by ridesharing apps?
GPS technology plays an integral role in the success of these apps. The rider and driver have to turn on location access in their smartphones for the app to get real-time location information for both. Apart from location access, the apps also collect personal information from you. If you are a fast time user, you are required to sign in to use the services of the application. They require you to link to a social networking account like Facebook to verify your identity. The user, therefore, ends up granting the application’s company access to his information on the social networking account. The application gathers information such as friend lists, birthdays, job, the college you studied which is completely unrelated to getting a ride.
What happens to the collected data?
A Kaspersky Lab Security research showed that all of the 13 world-class ridesharing apps have security-related challenges. The study revealed that the vulnerabilities included users being diverted to an attackers site. This allows the hacker to access sensitive information like login credentials for various online accounts. According to google play reports the 13 applications have been downloaded more than a million times. This indicates the amount of user information delivered to such apps. Without the necessary security measures, this information is put to jeopardy.
More security concerns were identified by Norton Security experts. If users of the various ridesharing apps fail to turn off their devices after terminating their ride, the app continues to collect data about the user location and how long they stay in that place. This violates the privacy of users because their location should only be revealed while they are on transit.
How to stay safe while using ridesharing apps
Without a doubt, ridesharing apps are transforming public transportation. However, since users submit sensitive information through these apps, they should do a thorough background check before settling on one. People can be forced by different factors to choose one ridesharing app over the other. Location and popularity are the big influencers of having you have on your phone. Also, people are moved by the ease of use and the appearance of an application.
Before you install a ridesharing app, you should research the company and read online reviews to understand their culture, attitude, company chatter and worrying issues discussed by customers. Reading customer reviews will help you to understand how the company treats its customers and how they conduct their business.
Data leaks can occur during the transfer process to third parties. If such leaks happen, it can affect many users leading to loss of trust between the users and ridesharing company. Cybercriminals target the data transfer process to third parties since these applications collect sensitive information that can be leveraged by fraudsters to gain money.
Another way to boost your safety while using these applications is to update your ridesharing app. Many attackers reverse-engineer applications to understand how they function and identify any vulnerabilities. When a vulnerability is identified, hackers exploit it to have access to the server side infrastructure compromising the integrity of data. To counter the adversities that are brought by attackers, app users and workers are advised to keep their applications up to date.
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