Android Privacy and Security 3: App Permissions and Privacy

  • Posted on: 6 February 2016
  • By: sasi

Do Android apps require all the permissions that they ask for? You could be risking your privacy and security by blindly accepting all the permissions. Follow these four tips to protect your privacy.

1) Check Permissions during installation

During installation of an app read the permissions asked for. If you are not sure why a permission is required, ask the developer. Question why access to location, contacts, messages are required by an app. Do not install if it appears suspicious.

2) Take stock: Check permissions of installed apps

  • Go to settings>>apps
  • Tap an app.
  • Tap 'permissions' to see a list of all permissions that the app uses. In some devices, you might have to scroll down to find the list of permissions.
  • Read the permissions used. If not sure, ask the developer why a particular permission is required. Question why access to location, contacts, messages are required by an app
  • If the permissions look suspicious, you can uninstall or disable the app.

3) Take stock (app method): Permission Explorer app

If you have installed a large number of apps, install Permission Explorer app. It provides 3 different views to see how apps access your system.

Permission explorer shows to you how your installed applications can access to your system :
- View by categories : Which applications can access to your localization, contacts, calendar...
- View by applications : Which permissions are used by your applications
- View by permissions : Which applications are using each permission

4) Revoke unrequired permissions in Android 6 (Marshmallow)

In Marshamallow, you can selectively revoke permissions granted to apps. If you think that an app does not require a certain permission, you can revoke that particular permission.

You can read step-by-step instructions for revoking unrequired permissions in Android 6 (Marshmallow).