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Random text messages with app invitation prove harmless

(WSAW)
Published: Sep. 12, 2018 at 5:41 PM CDT
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Speculation is swirling about texts that people have been receiving inviting them to download an app called IRL. Technology experts weigh in on what you should do if you receive this text and what it can do to your phone.

"So you're seeing people getting texts from an app called IRL. Which is a legitimate app. IRL is designed for to get people to meet up in real life. Which is what IRL stands for. The texts that they’re getting are from people who have downloaded the app and have your phone number in their address book. And the app makes it easy to send invites or compliments even if you don't have the app installed on their phone," said Brian Jojade, the owner of the Happy Mac technology store.

Even though these texts may come uninvited, tech experts say they show no immediate threat to your phone and so far there are no ties to sex trafficking.

"It's annoying if you're not using the app and you're getting these messages unsolicited, but they aren't inherently dangerous," said Jojade.

For those who want nothing to do with the app, staying away from it all together is your best bet.

"If you don't click on it and don't put your personal information in there, it can't access your contacts or any information stored in your phone," said Mary Wirsing, the IT security coordinator for Northcentral Technical College.

"There's nothing dangerous about the link that's being sent, all it's doing is trying to get you to download and participate with the app. Now if you don't know where it came from, the people that are trying to get involved and trying to connect with you maybe aren't trying to do things that are the best nature," Jojade added.

Even though the app might be safe, not getting involved is the best way to keep your information private.

"If you get that text message and you don't want to participate in that application, ignore it, delete, don't do anything with it, don’t click on it," Wirsing said.

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