How Not To Use Third-Party Apps
Last month, Facebook and Twitter admitted that data of hundreds of their users was improperly accessed by some third-party apps on Google Play Store. Security experts found that software development kits (SDK) of two apps, viz., One Audience and Mobiburn, were leaking users’ personal data when they used Facebook and Twitter. This vulnerability affected only Android users.
Twitter says this issue is not due to vulnerability in its software, but rather due to lack of isolation between SDKs within an application. 
"We have evidence that this SDK was used to access people's personal data for at least some Twitter account holders using Android. However, we have no evidence that the iOS version of this malicious SDK targeted people who use Twitter for iOS," said Twitter.
Facebook removed both the apps, One Audience and Mobiburn, from its platform for violating its policies. 
Many mobile users opt for third-party apps for using Facebook and Twitter since these third-party apps provide more features compared with official apps. For example, WhatsApp users still cannot schedule a message, while a third-party app (now banned) allowed scheduling messages. 
However, this does not mean that we should overlook data privacy issues in any app just because of some features.  
In an advisory, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) says, "SDKs are software, embedded into third-party applications, allow users to sign in using their social network credentials and help app programmers to monetise their products through targeted advertising. It is reported that Facebook and Twitter notified some companies about malicious SDKs that allowed certain third-party apps to collect users’ data from their apps without their permission."
Last month, Facebook revealed that at least 100 app developers may have accessed Facebook users' data for months, confirming that at least 11 partners "accessed group members’ information in the last 60 days."
The social networking giant found that the apps—primarily social media management and video streaming apps—retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the group’s application programming interface (API).
So how are you supposed to protect your data and privacy from falling into the hands of unwanted parties?
Here Are Simple Rules You Can Follow
1. Never use any third-party app for carrying out critical tasks. For example, if you want to transfer money to someone, use your bank's authentic app instead of some other app that may provide this facility. This applies to unified payments interface (UPI) apps, too, as banks are providing UPI facility from within their authentic app.
2. In case you must use a third-party app for anything on your mobile, do check all the permissions required by the app. If you are not comfortable in the third-party app seeking unnecessary permissions, such as Torch app seeking access to contacts, then do not install the app.
3. If you have already installed such third-party app, remove it for accessing unnecessary data or information and features, like using data network, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
4. Regularly check apps that are installed on your mobile device. If there is any app that you have not installed or have never used, uninstall it.
5. Never install any app that you may have downloaded, or received, other than from Play Store.
6. Do not click on any web link for downloading and installing any app. 
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    Zadio Thunder

    9 months ago


    Twitter won't remove inactive accounts after user backlash
    After a backlash from its users, Twitter has decided not to remove inactive accounts until it finds a way to memoralise accounts of the deceased.
    The micro-blogging platform on November 26 announced to permanently delete inactive accounts from December 11 that have not been used for more than six months. The action was to impact accounts belonging to the deceased.
    "We've heard you on the impact that this would have on the accounts of the deceased. This was a miss on our part. We will not be removing any inactive accounts until we create a new way for people to memorialize accounts," Twitter said late Thursday.
    "This impacts accounts in the EU only, for now. We've always had an inactive account policy but we haven't enforced it consistently. We're starting with the EU in part due to local privacy regulations (eg, GDPR)," it added.
    The company had said that as part of its commitment to serve the public conversation, it is working to clean up inactive accounts to present more accurate, credible information people can trust across the platform.
    In a fresh post, it said: "Beyond complying with GDPR, we may broaden the enforcement of our inactivity policy in the future to comply with other regulations around the world and to ensure the integrity of the service. We will communicate with all of you if we do".
    "We apologize for the confusion and concerns we caused and will keep you posted".
    Facebook lets dead users' friends and family report them as deceased and set up a special page for sharing memories about that person.
    Twitter currently does not have a way to memorialize someone's account once they have passed on, but the team is thinking about ways to do this.
    Any account that hasn't signed in for more than six months will receive the Twitter alert before the micro-blogging platform takes the action.
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    India puts into orbit Cartosat-3; touches 310 foreign satellite launch-mark
    India on Wednesday successfully placed into orbit its own earth observation satellite Cartosat-3 and 13 American nano satellites in a text book style.
    In the process, India crossed the milestone of putting into orbit 300 foreign satellites. By putting the 13 American nano satellites into orbit, India till date has launched a total of 310 foreign satellites for a fee.
    Meanwhile, Cartosat-3, India's new earth observation satellite up in the sky will send sharp clarity images for urban planning, rural resource and infrastructure development, coastal land use and land cover and also for strategic/defence purposes.
    The Indian space agency officials said they would supply the required images for various agencies. It is for the user agency to decide on the image use.
    The images captured by the satellite can also be used for surveillance purposes while ISRO is silent on this aspect.
    The satellitea¿s payload has the capability of take sharp pictures with a ground resolution of 0.25 metre in Panchromatic and 1metre ground resolution or ground sample distance (GSD) in 4 Band Multispectral modes with a swath of 16 km, said ISRO.
    The Indian space agency also said, Cartosat-3 has many new technologies/elements like highly agile structural platform, payload platform, higher rate data handling and transmission systems, advanced onboard computer and new power electronics, dual gimbal antenna and others.
    "Extremely happy to declare PSLV-C47 precisely injected Cartosat-3 and 13 customer satellites in their desired orbit. Cartosat-3 is India's highest resolution civilian spacecraft that ISRO has built so far," ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said.
    He said ISRO has planned 13 missions during this fiscal -- six launch vehicle missions and 7 satellite missions before March 2020.
    At about 9.28 a.m. the rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-XL (PSLV-XL) standing around 44.4 metres tall and weighing about 320 ton with a one-way ticket hurtled itself towards the skies ferrying Cartosat-3.
    Sharing the ride with Cartosat-3 were 13 nano satellites from the USA for an undisclosed fee to be paid to NewSpace India Ltd -- the new commercial arm of ISRO.
    With the fierce orange flame at its tail further brightening up the morning skies, the rocket slowly gathered speed and went up and up enthralling the people at the rocket port while the rocket's engine noise like a rolling thunder adding to the thrill.
    About 17 minutes into the flight the rocket ejected Cartosat-3 into an orbit of 509 km at an inclination of 97.5 degrees.
    Soon after, the first of the American nano satellites was put into orbit. The final nano satellite was ejected into its intended orbit at about 27 minutes from the rocket's lift-off.
    According to ISRO, 12 of the US nano satellites are named as FLOCK-4P are earth observation satellites and the 13th is called MESHBED, a communication test bed satellite.
    The PSLV-XL is a four stage/engine expendable rocket powered by solid and liquid fuels alternatively. The rocket has six strap-on booster motors to give additional thrust during the initial flight stages.
    The launch success comes as a soothing agent for ISRO after its high profile moon lander Vikram crashed into the lunar surface on September 7, 2019.
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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