Some cybersecurity apps may do more harm than good

Beauceron CEO David Shipley spoke with Supriya Dwivedi of Global News 640 out of Toronto about cybersecurity apps, and how some of them do more harm than good.

Buyer beware

The old saying “you get what you pay for” is a good thing to keep in mind when you shop in the app store. If you are not paying for a cybersecurity app with money, then you are probably paying for it with your privacy; the app is likely collecting your data and then selling it or monetizing it in some other way. As Apple CEO Tim Cook said, customer data is being “weaponized with military efficiency” to increase corporate profits.

An app’s terms of service may even tell you what information the app is collecting, but that information is usually buried deep within the terms of service and couched in legalese. Thus, users are often surprised when news comes out about how the apps they have downloaded are breaching their privacy.

Canada needs digital privacy legislation

David points out that Canada is lagging far behind Europe when it comes to legislating digital privacy. We need legislation that requires app makers and software developers to put in plain language what the app does, what data it collects, and how that data is protected and used.

Protecting your digital privacy

Until the government closes that legislative gap, you need to safeguard your own digital privacy. David recommends that you not download something just because its free. Look for well-known, well-established security brands. Look for apps that are highly rated and have been reviewed by a lot of people. And even though it may seem long and boring, read the terms of service!