Smartphone Games May Be Tracking Your Home Network Activities

Several games for mobile devices, including some dedicated to children, have been used to collect information from their users’ home networks, according to an article in the New York Times.

Applications such as “Pool 3D”, “Honey Quest,” “Real Bowling Strike 10 Pin” and “Beer Pong: Trickshot” are just a few examples of the previous smartphone games that contain software capable of tracking information directly from the home network.

According to the report, the program responsible for tracking is owned by start-up company Alphonso and can keep track of user activities even when smartphone games are not running.

Alphonso’s software was initially designed to collect data from the smartphone’s microphone to identify sound signals from TV programs, movies, or advertisements and trace a more faithful profile of the consumer. The company, however, denies having authorized its use in products for children and says that the program cannot record the human voice.

This situation is another example of a more significant phenomenon in recent years: Harmless applications are used to harvest user data without their permission (or even knowledge).

In a 2022 study by compliance company Pixalate, it was found that more than two-thirds of children’s apps in the Apple Store and 79% of those in the Play Store were used to capture children’s personal information and sell it directly to the advertising industry.

What can I do to avoid data tracking by apps like this?

With a few simple precautions, you can have more control over what apps can learn about you.

Here are some recommendations on how to do this.

1 – Use a virtual private network (VPN)

One of the best strategies to increase mobile privacy is downloading a gaming VPN. These digital security programs are helpful because they can encrypt all your internet traffic, making it impossible for third parties to snoop on your activities through a shared network.

In addition, many VPN providers also come with the functionality to block trackers – including those that operate within other applications, such as those discussed.

2 – Disable Location

App Location

While it is true that some applications need to know the user’s location to operate correctly, this is not a universal rule. In fact, many will ask for this data without any practical need – and most users will give permission in a heartbeat.

To avoid being tracked by this second class of apps, disable your device’s location function (also known as GPS) at all times. Only enable it when its use is really necessary (when ordering an Uber, for example).

3 – Control permissions

Control permissions

As mentioned in the previous points, most users do not have any criteria when granting permissions to installed applications, releasing everything requested. This is a mistake for many reasons, but mainly because it opens up loopholes for malicious programs to secretly track your activities.

When evaluating whether or not permission should be given to apps, it’s important to ask why it is needed for the app to function. Coloring smartphone games will hardly need to know your location to fulfill their service promises.

Related: 10 Most Popular And Best Cricket Games For Android Users In 2022

4 – Do not download any application

not download any application

As tempting as it may be, not every program on the Play Store is worth downloading. Many of the most innocent-looking apps are sources of malware and malicious trackers. So, you have to be careful.

Before downloading a new app, it is advisable to do a quick Google search. Cybersecurity companies regularly review suspicious apps, and there’s a good chance that suspicious programs will appear in these studies.

While it is true that even with all of these strategies, users will not be free of annoying ads and possibly some level of tracking by advertising services, the tactics presented can greatly reduce those things. And most importantly, they make a life for these companies more difficult. In life, after all, endurance is everything.

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Arnab Dey

Arnab Dey is a passionate blogger who loves to write on different niches like technologies, dating, finance, fashion, travel, and much more.

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      Arnab Dey

      Arnab Dey

      Arnab Dey is a passionate blogger who loves to write on different niches like technologies, dating, finance, fashion, travel, and much more.

      Tech Trends Pro