FOX13 Investigates: Shopping app dangers

by: Jim Spiewak Updated:

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How much of your personal information is floating around the Internet?

If you own a cell phone, experts say it’s more than you might think. And if you use a shopping app on that phone, it can be even more.

Cyber security expert Dr. Dipankar Dasgupta works at the University of Memphis. He told FOX13 app makers are often in a rush to get them out to the public, so sometimes they overlook many security issues.

“Many of the apps in the app library are not security enabled, so the other marketers’ spyware can be tagged in and that can be used to get the information out.” Dr. Dasgupta said.

A recent Federal Trade Commission study of popular shopping apps found little notice of liability to the user. Many apps used vague language which gives the makers access to collect and share your info and other tendencies based on your phone's activity.

There are ways to fight back.

Staying off public Wi-Fi is one way, and making sure to read the fine print is another.

Dr. Dasgupta told FOX13more protection for shoppers will only come from the makers.

“Businesses have to realize that putting security is the cost of doing business,” Dasgupta said.

Experts say before downloading an app, you should know how the app works, how your data is collected and how it is shared. If you can't find this info before downloading, find another app.

To see the full FTC report with other helpful tips, CLICK HERE