Within 48 hours of Congress repealing Internet privacy laws, Verizon confirmed that they are rolling out a system (“Verizon AppFlash“) to monetize (“sell”) data about their customers’ app usage.
Read the details and use the steps below to protect against it and make sure Verizon doesn’t sell your personal information.
Technically, AppFlash is spyware. No, this is not just opinion – it’s fact. Read the few sentences below to see for yourself.
How to Protect Against Verizon AppFlash Stealing Your Data
Use the steps below to prevent Verizon from selling your personal data. Or use our Kodi VPN tutorial video (below) to set up smartphone security on Android or iPhone / iPad in a few minutes:
- Sign up for the secure VPN we recommend (cost is $4.87/mo after applying our coupon code FIRETV25 to a 1 Year VPN membership).
- Install the IPVanish app (free) on your smartphone
- Launch the VPN app, log in using your username and password, and then Connect to a Server!
- Your Android / iOS smartphone or tablet is now fully protected from Verizon AppFlash stealing your data.
How is Verizon AppFlash Software SPYWARE?
Here’s the definition of spyware (Wikipedia):
- Spyware is “Software that enables a user to obtain covert information about another’s computer activities by transmitting data covertly from their hard drive.”
And here’s what Verizon AppFlash software does:
- Verizon AppFlash software enables third parties (aka “users”) to purchase (or “obtain”) covert information about Verizon’s customers by transmitting personal data in the background from their smartphone’s hard drive.
Digging deeper, the definition of the word “covert” means “not openly acknowledged or displayed“. Since the transfer of customer data occurs in background processes on your smartphone, this is definitely not openly acknowledge or displayed. So, this information can be classified as covert information.
Therefore, AppFlash is spyware.
Why Do Hackers Love AppFlash?
- Since Verizon AppFlash could potentially be installed on millions of Verizon phones, it introduces more security risks for hackers to prey on.
- Now that AppFlash will be installed on Verizon smartphones, hackers will probe the app for security vulnerabilities.
- Why would hackers do this? Hackers would find security risks in AppFlash to use it as a backdoor to gain complete control of your phone, download all your data & photos, or do whatever else they want.
Verizon’s Director of Corporate Communications stated “we are testing Verizon AppFlash to make app discovery better for consumers”. First of all, this statement accomplishes a few things for us:
- The statement confirms that Verizon is in fact rolling out a new system to collect more customer data
- The “make app discovery” part of the statement most likely translates to “sell your list of installed apps to the highest bidders“. To some, this may seem not-so-bad. But keep in mind this information is available for evil / malicious purposes. This information also serves as a digital “fingerprint” for your Android smartphone or other mobile device. The digital fingerprint gives hackers the potential to track you and target you!
- The wording of the statement causes suspicion due to their claimed intent. Specifically, customers don’t need better “app discovery”.
- Google Play Store does this perfectly well on Android smartphones
- iTunes App Store does this perfectly well on iPhones and iPads.
- Q: So, why does Verizon claim customers need better “app discovery”? And why does this happen within 48 hours of Congress repealing Internet Privacy laws?
- A: The terms “app discovery” and “AppFlash” are terms that companies use to turn the words “tracking your personal data” into something less menacing. It’s their way of putting a logo and a brand name on their personal info tracking system to hide its true nature.
- Furthermore, due to the timing of this event, it seems almost as if Verizon was already poised to capitalize on this opportunity.
Verizon’s argument seems to be “we’re only doing this to a small portion of our customers right now”. But that’s how nation-wide information-gathering programs are started.
The fact is that now there’s absolutely nothing stopping Verizon from legally selling all of their customers’ personal data possible.
So think about that, or just get a VPN and instantly get peace-of-mind in total security.
Google trackers are lurking on 75% of websites. Cover your tracks to protect yourself.