Social media, fitness and more apps risking your security

Posted at 7:32 AM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 18:24:57-05

Over coffee, on the street and at home, Nia stays connected.

“I’m on my phone 24/7,” said Nia.

Nia—we won't use her last name—is a WPTV promotions producer. She once made her social media sites public pages, open to everyone. Beware, cyber security experts warn against giving up privacy for popularity.

Nia found out some of her favorite apps—from games to fitness—have been hacked.

Alan Crowetz is the CEO of Infostream, his computer and business consulting firm. Nia sat down with him for a security review and was taken aback by what he easily found.

“Passwords, user names, location data, all kinds of stuff about you is out there,” said Crowetz.

Nia wondered what a hacked fitness app might have to do with her security.

“With the fitness app I can tell when your home or when you are not at home," said Crowetz. "If you run there is (potentially) a physical security type stalker thing with that.”

Nia had the perfect example to highlight how you, your family, or friends can inadvertently give your privacy away.

“I remember the other day. My dad posted a video of me, and I shared it and my license plate was on it,” she said.

Crowetz preaches cyber security and constant vigilance. He urges you to get a password manager and to never re-use a password. Protect yourself and think twice before hitting the send button.

“One of the obvious ways is to quit voluntarily sharing information," Crowetz said. "Make sure you lock your profile down and be very good (cautious) about what you post.”

Nia is taking the advice to heart. It’s been a sobering lesson for someone whose online security was already deemed better than most.

“The thing that is just the most shocking to me is that I really thought I was doing a pretty good job of keeping my stuff hidden,” she said.

To see if you've been hacked, go to the Have I Been Pwned website by clicking here.