It’s a sign of the times.
In restaurants, stores and just about everywhere in between, people are tethered to their smartphones.
But being constantly connected can also be dangerous.
In the video player above, WCPO’s Chris Riva shows you how to avoid using certain apps that can reveal your sensitive information and make you the perfect target for scammers and stalkers.
And if you think that’s not disturbing enough, here are nine of the creepiest apps people use on a daily basis:
Forget about dating apps that limit you to awkward encounters at sea level. Meet Wingman, a new app that promises to connect you “with attractive people on your flight, all before you touch down.” While on their flight, users can scroll through photos of people aboard their plane and swipe right or left to indicate “yes” or “no” if they are attracted to them.
What’s creepier than an app called Creepy? This desktop app is every stalker’s dream. It lets you collect pinpoint location data from all your friends on various social networking platforms and then organizes that data into a searchable map. This makes it easier for the user to know where their contacts were (or still are) at the time of their posts. It supports Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare locations as well as locations tagged on various image hosting services.
Sort of like the Terminator, the NameTag app can scan a person’s face and compare it to a database of millions of people like social media platforms and more. If NameTag finds that person, it will give you their full name, relationship status, what school they went to, their current occupation, their interests and more. It’ll even tell you if that person has a criminal record. The makers of the app say their facial-recognition software will make the world a more connected place. But we think it’ll also help stalkers.
Girls Around Me
The Girls Around Me app scans surroundings and helps users find out where girls or guys are hanging out. They can also see the ratio of girls to guys in different places around them. Once the user identifies a person they’d like to talk to – one that probably has no idea they’re being snooped on – they can connect to them through Facebook, see their full name, profile photos and send them a message.
Swarm is pretty basic - It allows you to easily find your friends’ locations. But critics argue it allows you to stalk your friends for impromptu meetings. The makers of the popular check-in app Foursquare created it.
Using this app is devilishly simple. Step 1: Log into the app using your Facebook account. Step 2: Choose the friends for whom you want relationship status notifications. Step 3: Get an email whenever their relationship status changes. Sure, you have to be friends with the person you're interested in before you can use this service, but the thought of someone being able to pounce on you as soon as you're available is more than just a little disconcerting.
Carrot Dating embraces bribery as a dating tactic. It allows users to wave incentives like free dinners and chocolates in front of potential mates as a way to convince them to go on dates. After looking through thousands of profiles on the app for matches, users select the "carrot" of their choice to get the other person to go on a date with them. These carrots can vary from a dinner and dessert to flowers, shopping and even trips.
This app is very similar to Breakup Notifier and is actually made by the same people. Users take advantage of this app by logging into Facebook, and selecting the friends they have crushes on. Those “crushes” will then receive an anonymous email from firstname.lastname@example.org that says someone has a crush on them. If that person crushes you back, will you both get sent an email revealing that you both have a crush on each other.
This app turns your smartphone into a secret spy camera. It shuts off your flash and allows you to mute the shutter and disguise your screen as an innocent text message. You can then instantly share your high-quality shots with your social networks or upload them to your blog.