News regarding a popular messenger APP is doing the rounds. This message is advising users of the risks in relation to privacy once the most recent update has been completed and a user has agreed to the new terms and conditions (an aspect that must be accepted to continue using the app).
The update of the App and it’s sale to another popular social media platform as a matter of course, includes a sharing functionality of certain user data with the platform.
The functionality is automatically activated with the upgrade of the app. A user will have to manually remove the sharing option if they choose not to share.
Unfortunately, this message is not likely to find it’s way to snopes.com as a hoax.
This is the risk of social media: we download and upgrade apps for convenience on a daily basis, and, as a matter of course, in order to obtain the app, we must accept all the privacy and access settings prescribed.
Users need to be aware, however, that they can change the settings and increase both their privacy and security afterwards by accessing the app on the device and amending settings- this may limit the use of the app, though.
Users should be more adept to the risks of social media and especially the sharing of their information. Once you “like” or “share”, it is on your timeline and consist “publication” as required for for example defamation in terms of South African law.
To switch off the sharing functionality on your device follow the below instructions: