Hopefully by this time you have heard about the risks associated with Tik Tok and not using it. If you haven’t, I’ll give you some reasons why you should not be installing Tik Tok on your devices and some reasons why you should be very wary of installing other questionable apps as well because of their security risks.
Here’s some background on Tik Tok. Tik Tok is a Chinese owned social media platform owned by a company called ByteDance; and like ALL Chinese companies there are ties to the Chinese Communist Party with people embedded in these firms working there. In addition, there are laws on the books that they must adhere to regarding its operations. In this case, a law that states “any organization or citizen shall support, assist and cooperate with the state intelligence work in accordance with the law”. That state intelligence is the CCP.
Tik Tok collects data from its users many different ways. It starts by determining the device you are using to access their network, brand of computer, model, Operating System (OS), carrier, your browsing history, the apps you use, your wireless connections, your GPS location, even your Personal Identifiable Information (PII) to include your image, contacts, relationships, sexual preference, plus can collect content of messages and received! In other words, it is Big Brother on steroids!
To say this is intrusive and invasion of your privacy is an understatement; But truthfully the Chinese do not care about your rights and laugh at those who point this out, all others they are busy rounding up and putting into internment camps with hard labor. Look at what Apple did just recently cooperating with the CCP by turning off their phone-to-phone messaging service! Apple is not a patriotic U.S. firm, but that a story for another time…
Back to Tik Tok… You would think that all this data is a boatload of information to gather on people and you would be right; but Tik Tok doesn’t stop there. Tik Tok also gathers voice and facial data from your devices, biometric data to include iris scans, voice recordings for voice recognition, fingerprints, the only thing missing is your DNA, but you can believe they most likely already have that data stored as well gathered through other means. Put this all together and you have a nefarious system that can be turned into a weaponized platform in short order.
Tik Tok is not the only application out there that poses a security threat. Just recently it was announced that “WhatsApp” the popular messaging app had been compromised, 500 million of its user’s personal identifiable information (PII) had been stolen. This information when pieced together with other information can be used for credit card theft, identity theft, account take overs and a whole host of other cyber-crimes. So, Tik Tok is not alone when it comes to the threats they represent. Tik Tok is alone though in that they are so brazen about it with it being part of their normal operation.
I hope now that I have gone through all these threats it might open some eyes and give you some reason to pause before installing that App. I also, hope you can see why there are some cyber professionals and politicians raising the flag for awareness to this threat. It truly is a national security threat! Do not load that software.