May 23, 2024

Science and Technology: Unveiling Applications as a Data Octopus

Science and Technology: Unveiling Applications as a Data Octopus

Beware of suspicious SMS

If you are currently receiving such SMS or similar messages, it is better to delete them immediately and not to click on any links. Photo: Till Simon Nagel / dpa-tmn

(Photo: dpa)

But such leaks are also possible without a vulnerability or a direct attack from hackers. “Applications are one way to collect such personal data that now appears in dark channels,” says Hauke ​​Mormann of the Consumer Center in North Rhine-Westphalia. These apps collect a lot of personal data from members – not only from the users themselves, but possibly also from friends. This can also happen without people experiencing it realizing.

It specifically relates to third-party apps that The social networking site Facebook Used as a platform for programs such as games, surveys, or quizzes. However, it could also be about companies that allow their store to log in with Facebook data. Some users find this convenient, as they don’t have to set up an additional account for it.

These data records can be misused by questionable service providers and misused for identity theft, for example.

Find yourself unauthorized data collectors on Facebook

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Facebook itself has one pageWhere users can check whether they have used apps on Facebook that have collected unauthorized data. According to its own statement, Facebook blocks such apps as soon as it detects them. You can also have one from the side AreaWhere users can control access rights to applications and websites.

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The Consumer Consulting Center in North Rhine-Westphalia advises to allow applications with minimal access to data. After that, however, the app may no longer function as it did before. Here it is important to weigh carefully.

What is my data in the network?

In order to determine whether personal data such as email addresses, phone numbers, and login data for their accounts from the current data leakage and where it is being circulated, users can navigate to several pages. Among them, for example, the “Pwned” database query by IT security researcher Troy Hunt. After the Facebook data leak, this database was also expanded to include the option to inquire about phone numbers, according to reports from the IT portal “”.

Another possibility is that Identity Leak Checker From the Potsdam Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI). If you enter the email address to be scanned, it will verify whether the email address has been disclosed in relation to other personal data such as phone number, date of birth or online address and whether it can be misused.

If there is an infection with a service, the password used there should be changed and not used anymore. Unless you already knew the leak or was detected a long time ago and you are sure you changed the password long ago.

Do not click on links from unknown or senders

But what about phishing and emails or SMS? “As long as you don’t change your email address or phone number, you will have to live with it,” says consumer advocate Hauke ​​Mormann. But you must block senders and delete emails and SMS immediately. Above all, never click on any links.

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It also warns of such messages Federal and Federal State and Federal Crime Prevention Police (ProPK). Apps should also never be installed if the phone asks for them. Otherwise, there is a high risk of catching malware. So blocking the third party is helpful.

Above all, it is important to always keep in mind the typical characteristics of spam emails or SMS messages: for example, misspellings, encrypted sender addresses, or URLs like “[email protected]It is assumed that it comes from well-known companies.

Who really wants to text me?

“The general reasonableness of offers and senders must also be checked,” says Moorman. “Will the parcel service really send me an SMS with strange and incoherent links?” No, how DHL Currently Twitter He warns: “We do not generally request any data via SMS nor provide information about the status of shipment via SMS.” Because at the moment, the fraudulent text messages are making the rounds, their senders are DHL or German Post Production. “The number of these short messages has increased significantly and it is possible that there is a connection with data leakage of Facebook user information,” Moorman said.

Moorman says it is better to use a different social media email address than banking and insurance. But users should also check this address regularly as shown above. Basically, it’s best to make your real name, date of birth, email address, and phone number available to the public on the internet as much as possible – this is valuable data for criminals.

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The Federal Office of Information Security (BSI) alone has how to use mobile devices more generally Pages Explains and provides a brochure on Download.

Box information:

The link was clicked – what to do?

Anyone who accidentally clicked on a suspicious link, for example from an SMS message, should act immediately. This is advised Federal and Federal State and Federal Crime Prevention Police (ProPK):

1. Switch the mobile phone to airplane mode immediately. He can no longer receive orders from abroad or send SMS messages.

2. Inform the mobile network operator by a phone call. Inquire if the costs have actually been incurred.

3. Set up a third-party block.

4. Call the police on 110 or go to the nearest office.

5. Save all data and settings. Then reset the phone to factory settings. This will delete all apps and data that were installed after purchase.

6. Change all passwords and, where possible, activate two-factor authentication.

Link to Facebook page

Link to Facebook app settings

Identity Leak Checker

BSI Security Notices for Internet Enabled Devices

British Standards Institute Handbook

Information from the State and Federal Crime Prevention Police (ProPK)


Facebook group “Phishing Radar Consumer Center NRW”,