Security experts are sounding the alarm on a number of apps that people should consider removing from their phones now, and among them are some that are being called “sketchy” astrology apps.
Last year, Business Insider and TechCrunch reported that astrology apps had become a $40 million a year business for the 10 top apps in the US alone. Astrology apps are so popular that spot a fire, a music app, has tried to incorporate astrology into its offerings. Even the US Army is now using astrology in its recruiting efforts. We get it, astrology is Yuu-uuuge.
And it is the fact that astrology has become big business that people need to be wary. Follow the money. That’s exactly what scammers do.
For most users of astrology apps, the thing they need to worry about most is protecting their data and making sure the apps aren’t sharing their data.
Check Point Research identified and astrology app called “Astro Guru: Astrology, Horoscope & Palmistry” over its excessive data security. “Astro Guru,” it says, has had over 10 million downloads. They say the app failed to properly lock down a variety of user data, including usernames, dates of birth, gender, location, email addresses and payment details, USA Today reported. Check Point Research recommends deleting the app.
1. Check settings: Make sure to check the settings of your astrology to see what permissions you are granting the app.
2. Settings to consider: Is the app tracking your location? (Even when the app isn’t running?) Is the app getting into your contacts, camera or microphone? Is it accessing anything else?
3. Memory and storage: Make sure the app isn’t hogging too much bandwidth? Is it over-utilizing your phone’s memory? Is it taking up too much storage?
4. Further research: Do some research on whatever astrology apps other people are using. There are plenty of lists out there on the Internet for the best astrology apps of 2021, or whatever year, or in general. But remember, popular doesn’t always mean good or good for you as a user.
5. Research complaints and security concerns: Find out what people are saying about the various astrology apps. What kind of complaints have been made about the app? Research the company for security breaches.
6. Consider the real cost: Nothing is free, including free apps. Make yourself aware of what the “real cost” is to you for using the app. Ultimately, select the astrology app that’s easiest for you to live with and trust with your data and security.