In 2017, billions of unwanted calls reached mobile phone users around the globe. Scam calls to mobile phones have quadrupled in the past two years, so it’s not surprising that the amount of call blocking apps have increased as well. So how do you know if the app you use has your best interest in mind?
Many apps are crowdsourced, putting callers’ personal information into a list to verify if a call is real or a robocall. Furthermore, many of these apps take your contacts when you install and keep them for their own business use, providing them not only your information, but the information of everyone you know as well. By downloading the wrong app, you could be handing over all sorts of information that could be stored or sold – possibly to the same parties you’re trying to block in the first place!
At First Orion, we’re dedicated to our customer’s privacy over “contact harvesting.” We protect tens of millions of mobile customers each day with our services. And we’ve learned a lot in the past year to continue helping consumers, thanks to updated technology and market research. Our call solutions are all data-based, meaning we don’t have to rely on crowdsourcing to weed out potential threats. It’s all powered by FONES, the knowledge engine behind our apps like PrivacyStar, which continuously monitors statistics to detect “abnormal” behavior of potential nuisance callers. While consumers are able to file complaints inside of the app, we only use that information to escalate a Spam Score of a call.
When you download any call app, you’re likely given the option to opt into giving out two things: access to your contacts, and your phone number. It’s what the company does with that sensitive information next that’s important. We use your phone number only for verification – you may receive a text notification with a code for the app so we can certify that you’re using a real number. As for your contacts, we ask for access to the contacts only so we can make sure the numbers you want to come through will – they are never uploaded, stored or sold. We really only need access to that so we can ignore calls from your contacts and let you do whatever you want with them, even if it means you’re ignoring them too.