I am of the understanding that nothing that has gotten on the internet can still be referred to as private; the moment you release any data to the internet, it’s not absolutely yours anymore. So, the idea of privacy on the internet is not to keep your data strictly yours, but to as much as possible help you control who and what can access your data at a given time. The implication of this is that when we talk about cyber security, it’s not just about firewalls, anti-crash and anti-hack moves, but also about anti-theft moves. Anti-theft moves to protect you can go as big as making sure your DNA matches what’s recorded as yours to as small as making sure your passwords are safe enough, just as theft moves against you can be as big as somebody guessing your passwords right to as big as somebody being able to be you on anything and anywhere with no trail at all, just because they have access to every information that makes you who or what you are. This is exactly why it should concern you (if you use the loan apps in Nigeria) that the loan companies are able to send messages to numbers on your phone to inform your contacts that you are owing them. How did they get these numbers from your phone? If they could get these numbers without your consent, what else could they get without you even knowing it? Let’s talk about these things.
Any software can remotely run viruses on any device and draw information from the device from the moment you install the software on the said device. Although this is a relatively simple virus to run, but this is not how the loan apps get your information; the loan apps have access to your contact list only when you have created an account on their apps. The access to your contact list can happen automatically if you create an account on apps like this using the same email address you save your contacts on, and it can happen manually if the email address you use to create the account on the app is not the one you use to save your contacts; the app (if programmed for such) would start mining information from other software on your device. The level of information that can be drawn automatically via your loaded email address or drawn manually by the app has no limit! So if you think the phone numbers you have on your phone are the only thing the apps have access to, you are wrong. A lot of people save their social numbers such as BVN, NIN, card numbers, etc. on their phone, a lot of people have their passwords and card details saved on their browser for autofill, so if the apps need such information on you, they can easily have it without you even knowing it. The reason why the loan apps cant independently take what they want from you, when they want it and in whatever account attached to your BVN is because the CBN for instance still has some policies that would not allow such. Sooner or later, we would get to when if you borrow money from a loan app with your bank A, the loaner would be able to get their money from you through any other accounts/banks attached to your BVN whether you approve such or not, whether you give them the other banks’ cards/details or not. You are not that safe when it comes to cyber information; unless you don’t have on your device a software built to be able to remotely get your data.