Well, this is exciting! Earlier this week, Computer Guys appeared on the papers to comment on the recent MessageMe hoax.
MessageMe is an instant messaging app by a US-based company LittleInc Labs. At the beginning of this week, an SMS made rounds among the public here, warning users that the app is sending out a spam virus.
The spam SMS was just a hoax, but it still raised some concerns about data security among users.
But first things first. What should you do when you receive messages like this?
If you are unsure about the authenticity of the message, run a search on the Internet to see if others have received it too and what people are saying about it. Look for the company’s website, Twitter page or Facebook page to see if it has released an official statement.
Rest assured that there is no way for someone to access your phone’s data or wipe it out through just a phone call, so do not panic if you have answered a call from an unknown number. However, to be on the safe side (and ensure that you do not get billed unnecessarily), do not pick up any calls from an overseas number if you are not expecting one.
Also, do not click on any links sent to you, even if they are from a friend. As a precaution, just check with your friend if he or she had indeed sent it before opening.
There are so many apps available nowadays that we do not bat an eyelid when we download a new one on our phones. Just how many of us actually bother to read up about the technicalities of an app before downloading it?
Because of this, not many people are aware that they have allowed certain apps, especially instant messaging apps, to access their contacts’ information. Some may even sell that information to another company for profits.
In addition, all instant messaging systems carry the risk of exposing security information about its users because all of the information is stored or exchanged on a central server hosted by its service providers.
In light of this, it is best that you do not communicate any confidential information to your contacts via instant messaging. It would be safer to just exchange that information in person. If you really need to send that information to someone, do it over SMS instead as the access to the information is limited to only your service provider.