Checking data privacy in pursuit of lower costs at the gas pump – WIBW

Science & Technology

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – As the price of a gallon of gas skyrockets, millions of Americans are turning everywhere they can to save money.
Some gas apps that claim to help save money may do more harm than good.
Vice President, Denise Groene of the Better Business Bureau in Kansas says location data is particularly valuable to advertisers.
She says “One of things you can do is after you download an app immediately go into the settings and you can adjust what information you want to share. So every app is going to be different but maybe you don’t want to use your location setting, a lot of these will allow you to use the toggle button to turn that off. If the app does not allow for that then you have the decision, maybe you want to go ahead and delete the app off of your phone, maybe you don’t want to participate in this company selling your location services to others”.
Also be careful about information tied to your money.
“So some may have you enter in your credit card or banking information as a way to give you cash back,” Groene says. “Other apps may allow you to skip that step and not divulge any sort of financial information, you may not get the rewards involved in using that app but you’re also helping to protect your data.”
Groene says new technology like smart thermostats, voice control systems, cars, even refrigerators often work through apps, which open you to even more vulnerabilities.
When you set up any sort of app regardless of how it’s connected make sure you’re taking the time to use long, unique and strong passwords to help prevent anybody from being able to access that particular app.
The BBB and the National Cyber Security Alliance says pay attention to internet-connected devices, keep tabs on apps, and don’t click on unfamiliar links.
“Our information is like gold so you have to protect it, so it’s important to make sure before that you know agree to those terms and conditions on how that company is going to use your information” says Groene.
Groene says if you don’t feel like reading an apps privacy policy you can always look up the company’s privacy policy online.
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