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COVID Vaccine: Cyber Experts Warn Users Against Downloading Apps Named ‘Cowin’

COVID Vaccine: Cyber Experts Warn Users Against Downloading Apps Named ‘Cowin’

The Indian drug regulators provided restricted use approval to two COVID-19 vaccines earlier this week. Separately, to ensure there’s enough data for the administration of the vaccines, the Central Government announced the arrival of a new digital platform known as CoWIN. 

The vaccination process required healthcare workers to register on this platform, although it’s only accessible to a few people currently. However, a common misconception among the populace is that this app is currently available on mobile app platforms like the Google Play Store for Android or the iTunes App Store for iOS. 

ReadIndia Approves COVID-19 Vaccine By Serum Institute Of India, Bharat Biotech

However, the app is yet to be launched by the government, leading to users often downloading apps named Cowin present already on the app platforms. The Central Government has clarified that this app is in its developmental stage and is yet to go live on the Play Store or App Store. 

There are several apps named Cowin on app hubs right now, and experts have warned people against downloading such apps. The government is expected to provide more clarity on its official vaccination platform/app, and it is likely the app will bear some unique identifier to differentiate it from the rest of the Cowin apps presently live on the aforementioned app platforms. 

Cyber expert Sonit Jain explained that some of these unrelated could also misuse your data, including personal information under the guise of standard app permissions. Jain, CEO of GajShield while talking to Mumbai Live said, "Most people don't think twice before sharing phone number but in the wrong hands, even that can be misused. Most apps at the time of installation ask access to personal information such as location, gallery and contacts. So one should always do their due diligence and only install apps that are trustworthy".

With this in mind, it makes great sense to stay away from any vaccination-related apps until the Central Government or its affiliates provide further information. 

ReadMaha Govt Says First Phase Of Vaccinations In The State Will Be Completed Within 10 Days Of Obtaining Vaccines

The CoWIN app is short for “COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network” and is expected to be the go-to location for the monitoring and streamlining of the vaccination process. Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has encouraged developers to work together to improve and strengthen the platform. 

The Central Government has decided to administer vaccines to frontline workers first followed by other sensitive groups with seniors being prioritized. The government has provided all the relevant details on the government’s official site

A Google search also reveals what appears to be an admin page for the CoWIN dashboard, though its authenticity is yet to be confirmed.

Also readSerum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla Reveals Price Of Covishield Vaccine

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