Nord VPN sent the following statement to the media, and while the Bloomingtonian doesn’t often post information from companies, this one is actually interesting given the discussion about Tik Tok:
Adrianus Warmenhoven, a cybersecurity advisor at NordVPN, comments: “With over 80 million active American TikTok users, the White House is right to be concerned about how the Chinese government is using their data.
“China has today accused the US of overreacting, but very few understand the potential risks the social media network poses. It is no surprise that Joe Biden has decided to introduce a full government ban.
“TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance is obliged under the country’s law to share data with the ruling communist party if requested. While the company has denied any wrongdoing the secretive nature of the Beijing government means this is almost impossible to verify.
“The video-sharing app has become so successful because its data-driven algorithm provides highly individualized content. Every user has their own unique feed tailored to their preferences as the technology is able to find out our interests, political leanings, sexuality, and other information, then use them to select the videos they see.
“The company also collects information about users’ keystroke patterns, location information, browser history, and even biometric information — exactly the kind of information the US Government does not want the Chinese to know.
“While the White House has instructed all employees to remove TikTok from their phones, millions of Americans will continue to use the app, unaware of the dangers.
“There is no way to prevent TikTok from collecting data without deleting it but there are some steps you can take to keep your account more secure.
“Setting your profile to private will help secure your account from any other malicious users that could steal your identity or try to scam you
“Also remember that what you post might identify you. When uploading videos, make sure not to include images of your home and neighborhood, the view from your window, or other
content that could pinpoint your location.
“Try to limit how much you post about your work, family, and other personal contacts on TikTok as this will build up a picture of your personal life.
“Finally, make use of technology like NordVPN’s Threat Protection feature technology that can block ads, trackers and suspicious websites. A mobile VPN can also help to keep your location data secure when using apps.”