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Is NewProfilePic App safe to use?

Yeah, I tried it during our investigation. And in a super secure way since I was in the know.

by Kurt Knutsson

As you may have seen over the past week, many people on Facebook now have a new glamourous-looking profile picture.

A questionable popular app called NewProfilePic Picture editor is why.   However many people are now asking me how safe this app actually is as reports are circulating that include allegations of it being part of a Russian malware attack.

Not an unusual thought in light of these pieces of news:

So let’s dive in.

 

What is the NewProfile Pic app?

As you can below, this app which is available on IOS and Android makes your profile pictures into a beautiful work of art.

NewProfilePic

 

Is your personal information being shared by NewProfilePic app?

While there have been rumors accusing the app of being malware, according to Snopes, there has been some confusion as the app was created by a company in the British Virgin Islands of which some of the developers were based in Moscow.

While this app has similar opt-in permissions to other popular apps as can be seen in their privacy policy including “name, email address, user name, social network information and other information you provide when you register, set up an account, contact us by e-mail or use our services”.  There is no evidence that points to Russia stealing data that we can identify at this time.

To counter the allegations, the company issued a public statement dismissing accusations on their website here.

True or not true, there are safer ways to approach getting the benefit of a glamorous photo they offer with a smart, protective way of limiting what you reveal to them.

 

Here’s how I decided to safely use it

Instead of downloading the app, I saw that on the newprofilepic website I can upload a photo to the site.  Before I do this, here’s how I safely did this on my desktop: (can be done on your other devices too)

1) I made sure my antivirus software is turned on.

2) For privacy purposes, so I can’t be tracked, I also turned on my VPN.

3) I chose my profile picture, however before I uploaded it, I made sure all data regarding the location of where my picture was taken is removed.  Yes, your photos have “EXIF metadata” which is a technical way of saying your photos have info including:

  • location of where the photo was taken
  • time and date of the picture taken
  • specific info about the device that took the photo
  • camera settings associated with the picture

 

How to remove location data from your photos

4) For the sake of this example, below are quick instructions on how to remove the metadata from my photos

    • On Windows:
      1. Right-click image
      2. Find “Properties” at bottom of menu and click it
      3. In pop-up box, click the “Details” tab. At the bottom of the window click “Remove properties and personal information”
      4. Click ok.
    • On Mac
      • Open image in Preview
      • In top menu, click “Tools” > Show Inspector
      • Click the “i” icon for information
      • Click “GPS” tab and then “Remove Location information”. (If the GPS tab isn’t there, then your photo doesn’t have any location data)

5) Now I uploaded my data-less photo to the site and within seconds I had my photo. Voilà!:

Kurt

 

Lock up your tech

While there is no current evidence of malware associated with this app, we’ll keep our eye on it.  My biggest desire is to educate and inform you about the increased real threat to each of our connected devices and encourage you to use strong antivirus security protection on everything in your life connected to the rest of the world.

The best way to protect yourself is to install antivirus software on your devices. Our top choice for Antivirus software is TotalAV. It’s super easy to install and you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ll have real-time protection, phishing scam protection, ransomware protection plus more. Protects Windows, Mac, Android & iOS Devices. Limited time deal for CyberGuy readers: $19 your first year (80% off). You can check out our review of other anti-virus apps, here: Best Antivirus Security Software and Apps to Protect You 2022.

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