14 Popular Apps That Could Be Spying on You Right Now

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The most popular apps you install without a second thought might actually have the highest security risks for your personal and sensitive information.


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WhatsApp, popular as it is, has had some significant security vulnerabilities. Attackers could target users by sending a specially crafted message, gaining access to your microphone, camera, contact list, and more. 

This was a widespread issue affecting both iOS and Android versions. The easiest way to protect yourself is to update WhatsApp to the latest version, ensuring you’re shielded from these exploits. If you’ve wondered about WhatsApp’s safety, your instincts are right—keeping the app updated is critical for security. 


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While scrolling through endless videos on TikTok is addictive, it comes with significant privacy concerns. TikTok collects data from both users and third parties. Even if you don’t have a TikTok account, the platform can collect data like your IP address, browser type, and phone information if you access videos via a browser. 

To protect your privacy, consider using an anti-spy app. TikTok uses this data to personalize content and ads and to enforce its terms of service, so being cautious with your usage can help maintain some level of privacy.

Angry Birds

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Angry Birds is a surprising yet serious data risk. When the NSA’s surveillance tactics were exposed, Angry Birds was specifically mentioned as an app that leaked personal data. 

Users’ phone numbers, call logs, locations, and even marital statuses were being siphoned off. If you have this game on your phone, the safest move is to delete it. However, developers have since patched the vulnerabilities, so if you can’t resist the game, at least update it to the latest version (but consider the risks).

Dating Apps


Swiping through dating apps like Tinder might be a convenient (albeit questionable) way to get a date or find love, but it comes with significant security and privacy risks. These apps often pull profile pictures and information from social media accounts, making it easy to link dating profiles to other online identities. Many dating apps encourage users to link their profiles to other social networks like Instagram and Spotify, which can automatically add new photos and favorite music to their dating profiles. This interconnectedness can make it easier for someone to find and misuse your personal information.

Moreover, criminals can use dating apps to lure victims to public places—such as hotels, restaurants, and bars—where they might be at risk of assault or robbery. Screenshots of conversations or profiles can also be misused for doxing, shaming, and other malicious purposes.


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Instagram, owned by Facebook, comes with significant privacy concerns. It requests permissions that include modifying and reading your contacts, accessing your storage, locating your phone, reading your call log, and having full network access. 

Even more troubling, updates can add new capabilities without you noticing. It’s essential to think carefully about whether you’re comfortable with the amount of data you’re sharing for a free service.


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DoorDash has faced significant data breaches, exposing customer and driver information. Investigations revealed that using the app shares data with nine third-party trackers, including Facebook and Google. These trackers monitor every time you open the app. 

Deleting DoorDash can protect your data, but beware of uninstall trackers that might prompt ads trying to lure you back. To further secure your information, look out for signs of potential phone hacking and update your passwords regularly.

Ring Doorbell App

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Ring doorbell users often think they’re the ones doing the spying, but the Ring app does plenty of snooping itself. An investigation revealed that the Android app is loaded with third-party trackers. 

These trackers send names, IP addresses, mobile network carriers, persistent identifiers, and sensor data to four marketing and analytics companies. So while you’re monitoring your doorstep, the app might be collecting and sharing your data behind the scenes.

Flashlight Apps

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Surprisingly, free flashlight apps can be a cybersecurity risk. Many of these apps are ad-supported and request permissions like audio recording and access to your contacts. By installing these apps, you may be sharing your data with developers who sell it to advertisers. 

It’s best to remove these apps and use the built-in flashlight function on your phone instead. Also, consider updating your passwords and requesting data deletion from these app companies to protect your personal information.

Weather Apps


Many weather apps might look harmless, but they can be loaded with malware. Some of these apps claim to need your information for better weather predictions, but that’s often a cover for more sinister activities. 

For instance, Good Weather has been identified as particularly dangerous. It’s safer to stick with watching your local forecast or using a trusted app. Deleting suspicious weather apps can help protect your personal information and keep your device safe.


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The go-to social media app Facebook is notorious for its intrusive data collection, and it’s not just when you use the app—=Facebook collects data even if you don’t actively use their service. 

Removing Facebook and Facebook-powered applications from your phone can be a significant step towards protecting your privacy. If you’re concerned about your personal information, consider this an essential action to take.

Facebook Messenger

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Facebook Messenger is another app that poses privacy risks. The messages you send and receive are not encrypted, making them visible to any Facebook employee with the right permissions. 

The app also scans links and photos you send, and flagged content may be reviewed by moderators. Although a “Secret Conversation” mode with encryption is planned, it won’t be the default and won’t apply to calls. For better privacy, consider switching to a secure messaging app that uses strong encryption to protect your messages.


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CamScanner might seem like a handy app for turning your phone into a scanner, but it’s hiding some dangerous secrets. Cybersecurity experts have found that this app has a malicious component acting as a Trojan downloader, which keeps collecting infected files. This can seriously damage your phone, so it’s best to uninstall it immediately. 

The good news is that once it’s removed, the harm typically stops. Instead of using CamScanner, consider safer alternatives or go back to using a traditional scanner.

Zombie Mod

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Even for zombie game enthusiasts, Zombie Mod is a dangerous choice. This game not only collected extensive personal data from users’ Google accounts (including Gmail usernames and passwords) but also bombarded users with aggressive ads that could brick devices. 

Affecting over 50,000 Android users, it’s part of a series of problematic mod games. Review and remove any unused or problematic games from your device. Start with the Scary Granny Zombie Mod app and, if you’ve installed it, be sure to change your Google account password to secure your data.

Kids’s Apps

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Kids love playing games on our phones, and sometimes it’s a lifesaver to keep them entertained. However, not all children’s apps are created equal. Many of these apps lack reviews, which should raise a red flag. 

Apps that store video and audio content can be particularly concerning—this data can linger indefinitely and might be accessed by unauthorized parties. Always ensure the apps your children use are well-reviewed and safe. Check permissions and reviews before allowing your child to play (and supervise their use to keep them safe).

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Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.