Is the Houseparty app safe?
It's one of the most popular video chat apps right now, but is it safe?
Due to the current coronavirus lockdown across the nation, staying in touch via video chat has been more popular than ever and apps such as Houseparty plays its part in keeping people connected with friends and family.
You'll have seen in the media recently, the Houseparty app has been getting lots of bed press, with users claiming other online accounts and services, such as Spotify accounts, have been hacked after downloading the Houseparty app.
What is Houseparty?
Last June, Houseparty became part of Epic Games, who develop the hit video game: Fortnite.
Houseparty is a video chat app that allows you to have up to 9 people in a 'room'. You can play games including Heads Up and Quick Draw (which is a bit like Pictionary) and you can 'wave' to people to let them know you're around and free for a chat.
It seems as though Houseparty has become victim of a commercial smear campaign. A smear campaign is a way to damage someone's or a companies reputation.
Are Houseparty hacking accounts?
Well, there's no evidence to suggest that Houseparty is hacking third party accounts, such as PayPal or Spotify.
Houseparty, of course, could've been hacked, however, this hasn't been confirmed, and even if it were to be hacked, it would have to have declared a data breach, which it hasn't.
Houseparty have posted a statement on their website regarding the recent negative press and the said hacking of accounts. Houseparty say:
"Houseparty is secure. There have been no data breaches and no exposure of customer data or third-party accounts."
It could just be a complete coincidence that other third party accounts are being hacked after the app has been downloaded and people could be clicking on links in fake emails without checking if they're real or not, then linking them back to Houseparty because it's the most recent app that has been installed.
In fact, Houseparty took to Twitter to offer a large cash reward to prove that they've been part of a 'paid commercial smear campaign'
Housparty also say they've never "ever sold your data and will not ever sell your data".
Although Houseparty is secure, remember to check your privacy settings within the app and 'lock' rooms when chatting with friends. If you don't 'lock' rooms and leave them unlocked, strangers can join rooms, which you don't want.
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Image credit: Houseparty / Epic Games