Do You Read User Agreement Before You Before You Agree to It?

Do You Read User Agreement Before You Before You Agree to It

A lie that is common on the Internet is that I have read and agree to the User Agreement. 

In fact, many users simply click on “I Agree” without reading the user agreement. Have you read the user agreement before installing the application?

How does the user agreement invade user privacy?

According to the content, a user agreement can be divided into Privacy Policy and  Terms of Service.

Privacy Policy: It is rules about the privacy and security of users that describes how the service provider deals with users’ private information and protects their privacy. 

Terms of Service (TOS or ToS): It refers to the terms or policies that the user complies with when using a service or product. 

If you sign up for an account or install an app, you will receive a user agreement that you must agree to before proceeding to the next step or accessing the service. Most users just skip reading the user agreement when they install an app. Not to mention which permissions the app requests. This can be exploited by unauthorized apps to collect and sell user data. In this way, it is a profitable tool for third-party companies, such as real estate, credit agencies and education and training organizations, to realize commercial marketing. Because of this, some users continue to receive spam calls from these companies.

Some app permissions that you may not care about are also critical to your privacy, including contacts, message, location, browsing history, storage, sensors, etc. As soon as illegal apps get these permissions, they can collect user data, create user portraits, and achieve targeted marketing.

Advanced technology should serve us. In contrast, this poses a major threat to our lives as we give too many permissions to apps. However, we have no choice but to accept the User Agreement if we wish to enjoy the service.

Is the user agreement fair?

It seems that the user agreement between the user and the service provider is fair. Service providers don’t force users to agree to the content of the User Agreement. However, the user is not able to fight against the service provider who is supported by a large amount of capital and a professional team. In addition, many Internet giants have gained a monopoly in some areas. Although you disagree with the terms and conditions of the User Agreement, you must click “I agree” to enjoy the service. 

That’s pretty unfair. The users can do nothing to fight these big giants.

How to protect yourself from unreasonable user agreements?

  • Of course, the first thing to do is to read the user agreement carefully. Even if the user agreement is very long, you should never skip a user agreement. Try to capture the most important content. If you disagree with some provisions, you can switch to an alternative. Although in most cases you have no choice, it is better than skip reading the user agreement. Otherwise, you will not know what data is collected and how it handles your data.
  • Be careful when voting over the Internet. It is true that some organizers request access to your personal information if you want to vote for someone you support. You will even be asked to enter your phone number. The vast majority of these activities are designed to attract customers and even collect user data. Therefore, you should not participate in activities of unknown parties, especially activities that ask you to provide your mobile phone number or even your ID number. 
  • You should pay attention to what permissions it requires before you install an app on your device. Many permissions are inadvertently approved when you install apps, such as location, contacts, message, camera, memory, microphone, etc. Some apps even require permissions that have nothing to do with the services they provide. For example, news apps request access to your contacts. For app permissions, focus on contacts, camera, and location. 
  • Because users can sign in to many apps through an email account, you should use a separate email account for apps from unknown sources. When registering for an app account, most users use the same email account that you used for other apps or websites. However, apps from unknown sources may not protect your accounts. Once your account is stolen, other accounts using the same email address and password can be quickly compromised. To secure all your accounts, you should use different email accounts for different purposes. If you can not separate all your accounts, it’s essential to set separate accounts and passwords for unknown apps. 

Conclusion

The user agreement is so important to your security and privacy that you should always read it carefully before click on “I Agree”. When you are using these apps, you should also use a VPN to prevent others from tracking you online. VPN download!!!

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