Salt IT urges TikTok users to tread lightly

Mariud Ngula
Salt Essential IT’s empowerment specialist, Vanessa Maresch, has urged individuals who use TikTok to tread lightly as the platform has been reported to secretly collect more users’ information than necessary without their consent.
She said this has led to the popular viral video platform being banned in various countries due to privacy and cybersecurity concerns.
According to an article by Tech Explore, the Chinese-owned company has been banned in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Taiwan, India and on European Union staff devices. Additionally, it is currently prohibited on government-issued mobile devices in Belgium, the United States and Canada, despite ongoing disputes.
“It was discovered that TikTok had been tracking individuals even when they were not actively using their app,” an article by Privacy Wiki read.
Maresch made the remarks during a cybersecurity awareness training for Namibian media houses in Windhoek on Monday. Aimed to combat cybercrimes and held in collaboration with the information ministry, the training provided insight into using the internet without becoming a victim of cyberattacks and cybercrimes.
Popular scams
Maresch said a popular tactic used by scammers that individuals ought to look out for is when they are contacted out of the blue, told it is an emergency, asked for personal information or money, told to keep it a secret and when the situation seems too good to be true.
“If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. When clicking on links, make sure the protocol of the uniform resource locator (URL) link has an ‘s’ in https, which signifies that the website is secure. Avoid opening your banking applications when connected to free Wi-Fi and avoid posting too much personal information on TikTok, as they have been reported and even banned in some countries for secretly collecting user information without their consent,” Maresch said.
The training focused on the threats and vulnerabilities on the internet; prevention and resilience to cybersecurity threats; managing cybersecurity threats; building resistance or immunity to cybersecurity threats; introduction to forms and types of phishing attacks; prevention and resilience to phishing attacks; managing phishing attacks or incidences and building resistance or immunity to phishing threats and attacks.