Thursday, August 11, 2016

Is It Risky To Use Airbnb Or Tinder? A Look At Popular Apps Reveals Threats

NordVPN lists privacy safety issues of popular free internet apps, looks at solutions

 Our whole world is on our smartphone: we speed date online with Tinder, and book our overseas pad by using Airbnb,.We have become so accustomed to getting what we want when we want it that we tend to ignore a huge risk that comes with using these digital apps ­ a risk to your online security and privacy.

NordVPN gives a quick overview of major risks that come with using some of the most popular apps, and explains how to avoid them.


Airbnb has around 60 million users around the world, and about 500,000 people use its services each day. Challenging hotel industry, Airbnb has a dedicated and constantly growing user base.

Problem. From online security perspective, one of the biggest risks of Airbnb service is unsecured Wi-Fi that travelers connect to at their hosts¹ apartments. Most often, these are open Wi-Fi networks that are extremely easy to hack into ­ even more easily than open networks in airports or coffee shops, since open home networks give a chance to the homeowner as well as previous guests to take over the network.

Solution. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). VPNs encrypt your internet connection, assuring your privacy and security when surfing the web.. . They are the best security mechanism you can employ to make sure your data is safe. NordVPN is a VPN with advanced military-grade security, and offers fast connection speeds, uses secure encryption protocols, has global coverage and is reasonably priced.


Tinder is an extremely popular dating app with around 50 million users around the world and 10 million daily users. The location-based app allows a user to select their ³matches² amongst hundreds or thousands users in their area.

Problem. Tinder has been criticized for displaying user¹s GPS coordinates, and has since replaced it with precise distances, which can still be very revealing of one¹s location. In addition, Tinder keeps users¹ private information even when they deactivate their accounts. A recent research has shown that it is very easy to steal Tinder¹s user information by using a fake profile.

Solution. Be careful how much private information you enter into any app. It¹s advisable to divulge as little personal information as possible.


Pokémon Go, the wildly popular computer game is taking the world by storm. It¹s free, exciting, nostalgic and interactive.  Users can download it for free on Android and iOS devices.

Problem. First of all, Pokemon Go requires to login using Google credentials. When users sign in through an Apple device, they must be careful to choose the right permissions not to y give Niantic, the game developer, full access to their Google Drive. If a user gives permission, then Niantic could technically use anyone¹s identity to send emails, share their information or photos. Secondly, since Pokémon Go is not available in every country, it¹s shared through file sharing websites, and can possibly infected with malware. One known variant of the shared version infects Android devices and allows hackers to access them. Hackers can then download user¹s data, steal their identity or banking information, send emails on their behalf and so on.

Solution. Make sure that you give the right permissions when you sign in, and that your Google account has a very strong password. Don¹t download unofficial versions of the game. Don¹t fall for the sites that offer free goodies for your Pokemon Go - they are probably set up by hackers. Additional hints by NordVPN can help Pokemon Go fans enjoy the game safely.


Problem. Cyber criminals, attracted by huge number of people that use these apps, are known to create websites that look exactly like Tinder, Airbnb or Glow in order to get users¹ personal and financial information,

Solution. The first thing you should always see while making an online payment is whether the payment gateway has an https URL. The Œs¹ in the URL means that it is a secure protocol and your data is encrypted properly. Also, be wary whenever a website requests for more information than is usually required, like your Social Security number or any other kind of personal information. In addition, perhaps the most basic requirement for any online account set up is using strong passwords. Weak passwords make it simple for hackers to break into your account.

For more information about staying safe online, visit NordVPN.  

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