With the ongoing mobile apps passion, people love to flood their mobile memory with all sorts of mobile apps. Mobile apps are a tradition these days rather than being a simple trend since mobile apps turn useful for the most productive task accomplishment and provide us knowledge, location, entertainment and many other things, which would cover the page if I would start to pen down. Apart from providing some of the greatest convenience, the loophole is that Smartphone apps can also invade your mobile app privacy.
Find it shocking? Yes, it is shocking and scary as well, but the harsh core fact is that apps can track your web habits, look into your contact list, track your location, and examine your files and more. They can also automatically send information such as location data to mobile ad networks. Once an ad network receives the personal information, then a hocus-pocus recipe of your genuine profile is served to the marketing companies.
How to protect yourself
After reading the first section, the first thing which has come in your mind is that how can you protect yourself and still enjoy the mobile apps privacy on your phone. So the answer is that there is no way to know whether apps are indeed sending your info to third parties, but you can protect your privacy with precautions, handled on time.
- Be extra cautious while giving Permission
You must know that not a single app shouts clearly to invade your privacy, but they ask for permissions, such as a single-player game asks for permissions to send SMS messages, which is a clear warning sign since a game app does not require any need to send text messages. Just don’t simple tap on agreeing on the button, but handle wisely the permission section.
- Your personal information
The “Read contact data” permission presents the actual privacy issues since it means the apps can view all of your contact information. Although, this information is highly needed by some of the apps, such as social networking apps, Skype, and many others, to function, so be a smart reader and then click the button.
Many apps such as camera, music, file management, seek the permission “Modify/delete SD card contents” but in many other apps, where it is not relevant, it turns out to be a potential privacy risks, because it allows the app to write information to your SD card, and access the data from it as well.
- Your location
Apart from the GPS-based app or network based app, seek your location details, never give it, since that would be a way to invade your privacy through your location identification. You can ensure the privacy from the above-mentioned steps, but for the existing or updated apps, your privacy is still on a stake but you can still be saved just by opting for few simple steps. Have a look :
For Android Device
- To access the App Permissions settings
- Select Settings
- Select Apps
- Tap on the icon to Configure Apps
- Select App Permissions (here you would find a list of each permission)
To play safe, you can also turn off your phone’s location services.
- Tap the Menu key
- Select Settings
- Select location
- Turn it Off
It would turn off all location tracking, but you would also not be able to use any location services. Although you can turn on this service by installing a home screen widget that lets you turn services on and off. For the update part, you should check the permissions for the updated version, since there might be chances that the developer has changed the set of permission in the updated version.
Apple is quite sophisticated with its security aspect. While reviewing every app, Apple verifies the minuscule details about the app. The hectic and rigid process of reviewing does work in favor of iOS apps. On the other hand, the liberty given to developers is very limited in iOS device, which improves the iOS app’s security. Although there are iOS apps which request to access your personal data, so here again, you have to play the safe game of reviewing the app reviews.
- Do the proper research
Before you install an app, you need to keep in mind few important things and consider below-mentioned suggestions:
- Number of downloads, app has got
- Permissions- which set of permission the app seeks
- Check the reviews app has received
Smartphone adoption would continue more in the future and apps from all the major platforms would go through the threat of privacy invasion less or more and users must be extra careful to protect their information being invaded by the unwanted elements. Undoubtedly, the mobile ecosystem is complex and multi-faceted, but the challenges for the ordinary users can be minimized by the simple evaluation of mobile apps’ security and privacy risks.
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