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Saturday, 4 April 2020

Is Houseparty App Safe: Do you know what all permission it asks for?

What it is exactly? How safe it is and what permission it asks when you download it?
 

Houseparty app is doing round on the internet and it is becoming immensely popular during the Coronavirus lockdown. The app, owned by popular gaming firm Epic Games, has been downloaded in millions from both Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

The Houseparty app has gained popularity during the lockdown and it is helping people to bring together virtually. The app allows users to video chat with their friends and one can also play games and more. So, what it is exactly? How safe it is and what permission it asks when you download it? These are some of the questions that might baffle you when want to use this application.

What is Houseparty app?

The Houseparty app is a video-calling application that allows a group of friends to video chat with each other. The company terms it as a ‘face to face social network’. Unlike other video calling applications like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and more, which only allow four people at a time, Houseparty allows users to add up to eight friends while video calling.

The app also comes with a host of interesting features. To start with, while video calling with friends one can play games like heads up, trivia, chips and guac and quick draw. Once you download the application, it automatically connects with contacts who also have Houseparty accounts. Users can see who all are video conferencing and one can simply join the video call. Furthermore, users have an option to opt-out from the video call whenever they want.

What all the permissions it asks?

When you download and install the application, the Houseparty asks to Sign Up. Once you click on it, you have to fill a form with your email address, full name, username, password and Birthday. Then you need to enter your mobile number to continue further. However, the app gives you an option to skip this part.

The app then asks for permission to access your Contacts so that it can find, Houseparty accounts from your contacts. Oddly, Houserparty then asks for your Facebook account so that it can connect you with your Facebook friends. After that, the app asks for the camera and microphone permission so it can use it for video calling purpose and it also asks for Location.

How safe is it?

Off lately, multiple users have complained that the moment they download and install the application, their other accounts were getting hacked. Some users revealed that briefly after using the application, their social media accounts, bank accounts and more were attempted to get hacked. The information about the hacked Houseparty app has been doing rounds on the internet.

However, Houseparty was quick to deny these claims and the company said: “All Houseparty accounts are safe - the service is secure, has never been compromised, and doesn’t collect passwords for other sites.” Interestingly, security experts are also saying that the app is safe to use. A security expert Lukas Stefanko told Forbes that the Houseparty app was relatively safe compared to many apps.

The only risk to privacy using the Houseparty app is the fact that any user which is added on the app can immediately start video chatting you are online or video calling with other friends. However, the company also provides a way to fix this. There is a Lock option at the bottom of the screen. Users need to press so that one can enter the room and invade your privacy. Furthermore, with a locked room, only those users who have the invite can join the conversation.

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