How to Protect Yourself from Potentially Dangerous Android App Permissions
If you are an Android user or have used a device running on the Android operating system before, the odds are, you have been prompted to ‘Allow’ or ‘Block’ some permissions when installing apps. Almost all applications that you seek to install on your device ask for permissions to do different things on your behalf. Because you seriously need to install that particular app, you ‘ignorantly’ press the Allow button so that you move to the next stage i.e. use the app which you have just installed or play NetBet slots using the gaming app you have just installed. However, by pressing the Allow button for every permission, you might risk your privacy and security especially theft of your personal data. In order to protect yourself from potentially dangerous apps, you need to consider the following.
Be Wary of Apps that Support In-App Purchases
One of the main ways that unscrupulous app developers are ripping off customers is through the In-App purchase feature. An In-App feature is not bad but it becomes bad when unscrupulous app developers abuse it for their advantage. Many unscrupulous app developers nowadays create apps which sound and promise incredible features. After installing it, you only get the same services that you get with other similar applications. However, to try out the seemingly incredible features, you are asked to pay some money to unlock premium features. Only after forking out your hard earned money will you realize that what you were promised is not what is inside the app. In order to guard yourself against such app developers, you need to enable password protection in Google Play. While this will not stop you from purchasing any premium features, it will give you ample time (while inputting your financial and security details) to ponder if you really need to proceed.
Be Wary of a ‘Pair’ Permission
A ‘Pair’ permission is a permission which combines two permissions into one. For instance, a ‘Pair’ permission looks states ‘Allow app to read contacts and use mobile data’. In this instance, permission to read contacts should be a standalone permission while permission to use mobile data should be a standalone permission. By combining the two (or in some instances more permissions), these apps will basically be trying to blind you from seeing other permissions that you would block instantly if they were standalone and therefore more visible. In order to guard yourself against apps that use such practices, you need to enable firewall protection which automatically blocks apps that combine permissions.
Be Wary of Apps That Want Your Device and App History
Many apps will ask for your permission to view device and app history, this includes genuine apps. Apps such as web browsers, app managers, or social networks require this information to record sites you have visited before thereby bookmaking your favourites and making it easier for you to log in on the next occasion. However, there are some apps especially gaming apps and antivirus apps that you should be wary of if they ask permission to view your device and app history. Most unscrupulous game developers use these apps to get geospatial information to track you and also to know all about you including what you like doing the most, what keeps you glued to your phone, the websites you visit the most among many other things. The least damage you risk in such an instance is to see your personal information get stolen and sold to other app developers who create targeted ads. The worst, however, is that the unscrupulous app developers get control of your device including all your security details (such as passwords) and financial information.