Are FREE texting apps safe?

Discussion in 'iOS 7' started by TantalizedMind, May 15, 2014.

  1. TantalizedMind macrumors 6502a

    TantalizedMind

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #1
    I spend $10 a month with Verizon right now for 500 texts a months. I'm looking to get rid of that package but I do a lot of texting. Over the past few years I have seen several free texting apps where they give you a "texting phone number".

    How do they work? Can these companies in turn read/access/ or even hijack my phone and use it to send texts to other recipients without my knowledge?

    I've seen a lot of people use these apps but I'm just worried about my security. I don't want a "company" or someone half way across the planet access my phone via the number they gave me to text and send messages to other recipients with that number.

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. Apple blogger macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    #2
    It's nothing "free" ... They use your data connection for the messages instead if the normal text.. Like BBM... But sure u can call them free..And yes, these are completely safe if they are on the apple App Store, it's one of the best thing about apple, they check all apps before giving it for public..
     
  3. Aspasia macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Location:
    Halfway between the Equator and North Pole
    #3
    My family has been using TextNow for a couple of years, which assigns a phone number to each user. We use it on our iPod Touch 5s, iPads, iPad Mini - and our laptop/desktop computers (we don't use iPhones). It also can be used to make phone calls, although I've never tried it - but my daughter does regularly, with her Mini.

    I have mine set up so that an email is sent to me each time a text comes in. That's handy from the standpoint of being able to save any photos included with the text. You said you do a lot of texting, so you probably would not want that option.

    As to the security questions you posed, quoting from the TextNow FAQ:

    That would include the phone number as well. Any company which gave away its users' texting numbers would not remain in business very long, so it's not anything that I would worry about.
     
  4. TantalizedMind thread starter macrumors 6502a

    TantalizedMind

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #4
    I have unlimited data right now so I'm not worried about the use of data connection. So I guess I'm safe to use this/these apps.

    Just wondering. How do these companies make money then? It's not like Verizon gives them money for using my data connection. Right?
     
  5. Nyy8 macrumors 6502a

    Nyy8

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    They run advertisements in the app, and some have IAPs.
     
  6. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

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    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #6
    Don't use Facebook Messenger. Lots up rumors about them accessing your information.

    There was an app I used on my BlackBerry a few years ago, but I forget which one. It used by 3G connection and had banner ads.

    Have you considered switching to a plan with unlimited texting? It's been standard with Verizon for years now. Might be worth it if you don't use a huge amount of data without a texting app
     
  7. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #7
    Rumors of what again? There's probably a reason they are rumors (and apparently not all that widespread ones either).
     
  8. TheAnvil macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    #8
    Essentially, every company that provides such a service can read your messages, regardless of what they say.

    Hijacking your phone, not so much.

    Viber and WhatsApp are what you should get, everyone has one of those, and those who don't have either don't matter. :)
     
  9. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #9
    http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/28/facebook-reading-android-users-texts-well-hold-on/

    It's rumored to be an issue for android users. Not sure about iOS, but it's something to be concerned about. I guess it's the main Facebook app having access to things like your texts. Even so, I wouldn't want to use Messenger. Gives Facebook too much access to my private info.
     
  10. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020

    richwoodrocket

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Location:
    Hamburg, NY
    #10
    No, the nsa will take all your info and distribute it to the world via facebook. (just kidding)
    Yes, those apps are pretty safe. I havent had any problems so far with any apps ive used
     
  11. LordQ macrumors 68040

    LordQ

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    #11
    I have a question, why not use Whatsapp or iMessage?
     
  12. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #12
    Doesn't seem like it could do that in iOS even if they wanted to. As for private information, it gives it pretty much whatever info you give Facebook, not really more than that.
     

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