Tips for protecting your privacy in apps

Apps need permissions to be able to function. But installing the wrong app can mean you give out private information. Here are some tips to help you protect your privacy.
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Tips for protecting your privacy in apps

Whenever you install an app, you let it access part of your phone. Some apps want to just access the internet connection, while some need to be able to know where you are. Of course, if the wrong app is installed, you might be giving out private information. So what can you do?

ANDROID PRIVACY CONTROLS

With an Android phone, you give apps access to parts of your phone as soon as you download and install them. It’s always best to check the permissions the app is requesting. If you don’t like something an app wants to access, simply don’t install it.

It’s also worth reading reviews. If a number of other people have left reviews saying they’re unhappy with the permissions an app is requesting, it might be better to steer clear of it.

The same can be said for app updates. Occasionally when an app is changed, it will want to access a new part of the phone. When you go to update it, the Play Store will let you know what’s changed, giving you a chance to choose not to update.

If you want an app, or an update, but don’t want to accept the permissions, there is an option. Download and install the free AppOps app. This is actually a shortcut to a hidden menu on Android phones, and requires no permissions itself.

Once AppOps is installed it lets you allow or deny every permission of every app you’ve download. That way you can control which apps can access your data. Remember though, turning off certain permissions might make an app work incorrectly, or not at all

IOS PRIVACY CONTROLS

Apps from iTunes normally have automatic access to the internet and a few other things, but otherwise you’re not giving them free rein by simply installing them. Instead, whenever an app wants to use a part of the phone, whether it’s GPS or the internet, it’ll ask, and you’ll be able to allow or deny permission.

The app will still work, even if you don’t allow it to access something, but it might not have all the features it was advertised with.

You can also go into the settings menu later and chance the permissions that have been allowed for apps.

The iOS permissions system is probably a little simpler and more secure for the average person. After all, the permissions can be controlled without a secret menu. But apps on Android can have more features as there are more permissions open to them.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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