With no more big get-togethers and limited to no social events, people have resorted to a new app called HouseParty for all their large-group socialising needs.
Created by the developer of Fortnite, HouseParty essentially lets people talk and play games with multiple friends and members of family face-to-face all at once to create a feeling of “house party”. With an average of 130,000 downloads a week in February to more than two million a week in March, House Party has absolutely exploded onto the scene.
How does HouseParty work?
When users go online, others are notified in order to be able to create a “room”. Rooms can be private or open for strangers to join for people to chat and play in-app games and quizzes like Pictionary, Heads Up! and Apples to Apples. But there’s a twist.
Recently reports of users’ accounts being hacked have raised concerns about the safety of the app.
Is HouseParty safe to use?
As more people use the app, the reports of hacked accounts have increased. And not only their HouseParty accounts but on Netflix, eBay, Instagram and Spotify accounts too.
Many people have complained on social media.
Despite the swell of complaints a spokeswoman from the app said, “We’ve found no evidence to suggest a link between HouseParty and the compromises of other unrelated accounts.”
All they’ve suggested is to have strong and unique passwords, but the reality is that that may not be enough.
How to stay safe on HouseParty
Limit the number of people you add
When you first signup, you can decide to make an account with Facebook or Snapchat accounts which makes it easier for people to connect with one another. So we suggest only adding the people you expect to regularly speak to. When you do create a room with a set number of people, lock the room so no lurking strangers can join.
Sneak into HouseParty
Normally when you enter the app, a notification will go out to other users that you’re available to chat. In that case, people can decide to join in the chat or not. But there is a way to enter unseen.
By holding down on the app in iOS or Android an option to “Sneak in” will pop up which lets you enter the app without sending out a notification to other users. You can also ghost friends by tapping the person’s name, tapping the cog icon, and switching Ghosting on.
What do you do if you have a bad experience on HouseParty?
The ultimate way to respond if you have a bad experience is to simply delete the app. Start by deleting your account by clicking on the user icon, going to Settings, Privacy and the “Delete account”.
|Up to eight people in a chat at once||You may not want just anyone butting into a chat room|
|Wave to friends to notify that you’re using the app||People can see when you’re using the app if you aren’t sneaking in|
|Simple-to-play fun games||HouseParty doesn’t tell users when someone is recording a chat, so be careful of what you say|
|Easy video messaging||Possibility of getting HACKED|
Overall, HouseParty as a concept is great. You can connect with multiple people at once face-to-face and have fun playing games, taking quizzes and just catching up. But the obvious negative to this new app is security concerns.
There are a lot of questions still unanswered such as whether the hacking can be avoided. If you have had a good or bad experience, please share it with us in the below comments.