As users can store all their personal and confidential data on their Android smartphones, privacy is becoming a big issue for many users. I’m not talking about virus attacks or spyware here. I’m taking about normal third-party apps accessing your personal information and acting on your behalf through your Android device.
If you’re worried about your Android privacy settings and you feel that some apps might be getting access to your personal details, then continue reading to find out how you can protect your details from third-party apps. I’ll also show you how you can find out the apps that are accessing your information so that you can uninstall them.
1. Check For App Permissions Before Installing Third Party Apps
This is the best way to protect your private information from third party apps. If you don’t install the apps that access private information, then there won’t be any problems.
One of the best things about installing apps from the Google Play Store is that it shows you app permissions when you hit the Install button. A popup window lists all the app permissions. Some permissions might be normal, such as access to camera by a third party photo editing app.
However, if you see strange permissions like access to making phone calls or sending text messages, then it’s better not to install the app.
Also, if the app requires access to information that you believe it doesn’t need, then also it would be better not to install the app. If you perform this screening process every time you install a third party app, then chances are your personal information will be safe.
2. Check For App Permissions Of Installed Apps
If you already have a lot of third party apps installed that you regularly use, then it would probably be impossible to uninstall all of them and reinstall them after checking the permissions. In this case, you can view the permissions through your Settings app and uninstall the apps that you feel are gaining access to your personal information.
Go to Settings and tap on Apps or App manager. The App manager should bring up a list of all the apps installed on your phone. Tap on the app name to open up its details. Scroll down to the Permissions tab. You’ll now see a list of things that the app can access, such as accessing your location or taking pictures.
If you feel that the app is gaining access to too many things or if it is accessing something that it doesn’t really need, then it would be best to uninstall the app in order to protect your personal information. You can uninstall the app from within this screen by pressing the Uninstall button.
3. Online Privacy Shield
One of the most popular privacy apps available on the Google Play Store is Online Privacy Shield and it does a great job at scanning for apps that access your information. You can also use the app to scan your social media accounts, such as Facebook.
The best thing about the app is that after scanning, it automatically shows different categories, such as Apps act on your behalf or Apps access personal info. Once you go to a category, you’ll see all the apps that require access. So, if you open the Apps access personal info category, you’ll see a list of all the apps that access your personal information.
The app is really easy to use and you can also revoke access to apps that you feel don’t need access to your information. Follow the steps below to get the app and use it to protect your private information.
Step 1 – Install Online Privacy Shield On Your Android Device
Download and install the Online Privacy Shield app on your Android device. You can get the app through the Google Play button below.
Step 2 – Scan Your Android Device
Open the app, go through the introduction guide and tap on the SCAN NOW button in order to run a complete scan on your phone. Wait for the scanning process to complete and this might take a while.
Step 3 – Scan Your Social Media Accounts
Once the scanning process is complete, you’ll see different categories on the screen. In order to add your social media accounts and scan them, tap on Scan your Social Apps and select the account that you want to use. You’ll need to login with your account’s ID and password.
Step 4 – Select A Category
Go to a category to check the apps that are accessing your information. For example, if you want to find out about the apps that can act on your behalf, go to the Apps act on your behalf category. You’ll now see a list of the apps that can act on your behalf.
Step 5 – Trust An App On Your Android Device
If you feel that an app is safe and doesn’t do anything with your information, then tap on the app name and press the TRUST button. The app will now appear in your TRUSTED list.
Step 6 – Block Access To An App
If you want to block access to an app or uninstall the app, tap on the app name and press the REVOKE button.
Keeping your private information safe from unauthorized access is vital on Android devices which is why you should pay extra attention when installing third party apps. If you perform a screening process of all the permissions before you install any app from the Google Play Store, then I’m sure apps won’t unnecessarily use your private information.
If you have a lot of third party apps installed on your phone and you’re worried that they might be accessing your private information, then you should definitely try out the Online Privacy Shield app. The app is excellent if you want to keep your information safe all the time. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot them in the comments section below.
Next Read: Android Spyware