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Houseparty: What is it, how to use it and why you should be worried

The Houseparty app has been trending since people have been stuck in lockdown, However, with an app that lets anybody in on your video calls, do you need to worry?

  • Updated: April 11, 2020 1:45 PM IST
Houseparty

The Coronavirus lockdowns across the globe have confined millions of people in their homes. However, this hasn’t stopped people from finding creative ways of socializing while maintaining distance. While most people find binge-watching through a hoard of Netflix series, a new app has been all the rage lately. Houseparty allows users to video-chat with pals, play games and more. Also Read - Facebook reportedly testing a video chat app that may be a clone of Houseparty

One thing you should know about the app, however, is that the app lets anyone in an ongoing group chat as long as they are friends or friends of friends. This feature of the app has both made it popular and brought some criticism. “Because rejected calls are so last year,” says the app’s description on the play store.

Watch: Top 5 apps providing free services during coronavirus pandemic

How to use it

The easiest way to use Houseparty is via the app. The app is available on iOS and Android. However, there is also an app available for desktop platform such as Mac. Sorry Windows users, you are out of luck. While overall, the app is a largely safe platform to use, users have often complained about pranksters hopping in on ongoing “house parties” and causing havoc. This has led many people to believe if the app is prone to hacking. To add to worries, the Houseparty app also requires a large amount of information to run. A big ask from the app when you run it for the first time is access to your entire contact list. Not everyone may be comfortable with this.

How to maintain privacy on Houseparty

However, the good news is you can still skip the step and use the app just fine. You will still be able to make calls, join calls and more in Houseparty. However, do know that if you’re too conscious about your privacy, its best to skip the trend. No app or service is truly hack-proof. Even Facebook and Google have had breaches over time.

Another good measure to take is to ‘lock’ your house. This prevents your friends form joining in on their own. However, you can still add people in yourself. Locking your room will however prevent strangers from getting into your room. This has been a problem lately. Many individuals have taken the feature to join random rooms and show pornographic content or their own naked self. While it does remove the ‘Houseparty’ vibe, locking is certainly a good practice to follow if you don’t want strangers to ruin your social moments.

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  • Published Date: April 1, 2020 10:56 AM IST
  • Updated Date: April 11, 2020 1:45 PM IST



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