In the age of smartphones, we mainly use our phones for apps – many, many apps. Making voice calls and performing other traditional phone functions come second to using the wealth of apps available. Most of us are aware by now that apps bring with them additional risk – that they can expose us to unwanted prying and data theft. So, I’d like to look at app permissions a little closer. It’s a topic you probably do not lose much sleep over, but it does impact your security and personal data directly.
Apps can do a plethora of scary-seeming things on our smartphones: access our location, peek at our photo galleries, read our address books, and gather personal information about us and our devices. This would arguably be okay if you fully trusted the apps you use – but can you really? There are millions of app creators out there – some, surely, with less pure intentions than others – and we mostly end up giving them carte blanche to access our information at any time via their software.
So what can we users do to limit any unwanted intrusion into our privacy?.