Admittedly, parents of teens have unique worries about their children. So-called “helicopter parents” worry more than others. A perfect app for such parents is Teen Safe, which allows those worried parents to monitor their children’s location, text messages, call history, app downloads and browsing history. Yikes—the only monitor I ever had with my kids was a baby monitor for feeding and diaper changes. According to Teen Safe, over one million parents use it to “monitor” their children.
A security researcher last week discovered that the servers of Teen Safe, located on Amazon’s cloud, were left unprotected and were accessible without a password. According to ZDNet, “tens of thousands of parents’ email addresses as well as the teens’ Apple ID email addresses and their passwords,” along with the teens’ names, were accessible on the unprotected servers. Others have reported that some of the teens’ email addresses were associated with their high schools.
Unfortunately, in order to use the app, multi-factor authentication had to be disabled, which allowed hackers to access and exfiltrate the teen’s personal information just by using the teen’s credentials.
The company took its servers offline and is notifying all affected individuals, but before it did so, it is reported that 10,200 records were accessible.
The tip this week is to ponder using any app that does not allow multi-factor authentication, vet the apps that your children and you are using, and consider flying the helicopter a little higher.