Is House Party safe? Video chat app's creepy 'porn-bombing' trend and privacy fears revealed

AS the world self-isolates, the House Party app has soared to immense popularity.

This genius video calling app lets you chat with pals, play games and more – but is it safe?

Is House Party safe?

On the whole, House Party appears to be largely safe to use.

The app has seen pranksters hopping into calls to cause havoc – but there are ways to get around this.

And the app does also ask for a large amount of information, which may worry the privacy-conscious.

However, with the right settings, you can have a great time on House Party.

Of course, it's always worth remembering that no app or service is ever truly safe.

Even tech titans like Facebook can suffer hacks or leaks, so always be vigilant with your information online.

Uploading all of your contacts

One of the big red flags for true privacy die-hards is the networking system.

When you sign up, you're asked to hand over your entire list of contacts – which will be stored on House Party servers.

"If you choose to import your personal contacts from your mobile device we will access your personal contacts in order to identify Users that you may know that are using the Services and to provide other Users with suggestions for potential Connections based on mutual contacts," House Party's privacy policy explains.

"Note, however, that we will never share your phone number or the phone numbers of third parties in your Contacts with anyone else."

This isn't a shady tactic: it simply lets the app connect you with pals.

But in a world where hacks and leaks are rife, handing over contact info for everyone you know won't sit well with everyone.

The good news is that it's possible to entirely avoid handing over your contacts to House Party.

Just press Skip when prompted, and your contacts won't be uploaded.

The app still works fine without contacts, and you can add friends, join and host calls, play games and everything else you'd normally do.

Strangers 'porn-bombing' your calls

Porn-bombing isn't a problem specific to House Party – but it certainly exists.

Just like on Zoom, it's relatively easy to find and access another person's group call.
This has led to twisted pranksters hopping into video calls to show off pornographic content – or their own naked form.

As such, it's important to keep your room "locked" if you can help it.

And try to avoid adding anyone you don't know as a friend.

Unlocked rooms

Basically anyone can enter one of your video chats – unless you make it private.

The obvious answer to many of House Party's problems is simply to "lock" your rooms entirely.

You can do this by hitting the padlock button when you're in the app.

It's still possible to invite people to the call – but that's the only way for someone to join.

This has a downside: pals can't just hop into your room when they like if it's locked.

That does remove the "house party" vibe somewhat, but it's a small price to pay to avoid having a stranger wave his todger at you over the internet.

In other news, find out how to sign up to the official WhatsApp coronavirus chatbot.

Former Nasa scientist Mark Roberts used "glow powder" to show how quickly germs spread.

And a hilarious prankster has revealed a cheeky way to skip out on dull virtual meetings while working from home.

What's your favourite video chat app? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Read Full Article