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Has Houseparty app been hacked?
You’ve heard the rumours about houseparty app: it’s hacking your phone, stealing your bank details, changing your passwords and a whole host of other things. But are they true?
Despite launching in 2016, this face to face social media app has exploded into our lives since the lockdown. It’s the perfect antidote to being on your own, letting you join up with up to 8 people and get together face to face (well, screen to screen) and socialise, as far as we’re allowed.
It’s free to join up to and simple to use, but neither of those things really matter if your phones being hacked.
So, what’s with the rumours, and are they true?
Is houseparty hacking?
There’s a lot of people online right now suggesting that houseparty app is hacking your phone. I’ve read about it hacking online banking, Spotify accounts and a whole load of other things.
The problem however, is that we can’t go around accusing companies or people of things without proof. And there’s no proof. Epic Games is a pretty big player in the app market. They’re a fully legitimate company approved to use the App Store and Google Play and without a shred of evidence, this looks a lot like a smear campaign against Epic.
Houseparty themselves Tweeted that all houseparty apps are safe. They’ve reiterated that our accounts have never been compromised, and that their service is secure.
But this tweet hasn’t stopped people from reporting that their houseparty app is still hacking their data.
The owners of houseparty app, Epic Games (who also own Fortnite) have now offered to pay the first person to offer up some proof of this alleged hacking $1,000,000, so it’s pretty serious about putting these rumours to bed.
As of yet, not a single person has been able to offer any proof that houseparty app is hacking their data. Apps can be buggy, but that’s very different from an app that’s collecting your data and there is no evidence at all that houseparty app is doing this.
And no, screen shots of locked Spotify accounts do not amount to evidence of…well, anything really :)
For my own family, we’re treating houseparty app like any other app we download.
As with lots of apps, there are things you can do to protect yourself against being hacked:
- Monitor your accounts closely – log into your online banking frequently, that way you’ll spot any changes or suspicious activity quickly
- Don’t use the same password – Lot’s of us are guilty of this (yep ✋) and it’s because we forget passwords easily, so we use the same one. It’s a terrible idea and it makes password thieves lives really easy
- For ALL apps – go to the settings and decide what you’re happy with each app you download accessing. In houseparty app, you’ve got these settings:
but I would also add that I tend to turn the microphone off in most apps, including WhatsApp, as I really don’t see the need for the microphone to be permanently turned on. It takes seconds to turn it back on if you need it, and these settings give you a little more control :)
It’s a good idea to go into your settings and get yourself familiar with what you’re actually allowing apps you download to access. And finally….being aware of everything we’ve downloaded onto our phones is probably the best way to minimise the chances of our data being hacked.