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The Top 5 Ways to Prevent Your Android Apps from Spying You



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Keep your data private on your Android.


Angela Lang / CNET

More than 1,000 Android apps collect your data, researchers have found, even if you deny them permission. This is a sobering thought at a time when companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon are being scrutinized for their privacy and security policies. Studies have shown that apps without permissions can outsource other apps that you have granted permissions to. According to researchers, these apps can even capture data from your Wi-Fi connections.

If you've seen ads in apps or in your browser for items that you've looked up in a completely different app, you may notice some of this data collection at work. Google fixes the privacy issue in Android Q, the operating system update for Android phones released later this year.

If you feel helpless that denying apps permission for your data seems to make any difference, then you've come to the right place. However, there are some things you can do to make it difficult for apps to see information that you do not want.

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Many Android apps bypass the privacy policy



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Only give apps permission to access meaningful data.

The apps you download may be asked to access your calendar, camera, contacts, location, microphone, phone, text message, memory, and sensors. Some permissions are required for the app to work. If it is a map app, the location data is linked to the area. If it's a wordplay asking for your location, you might just say no.

The problem occurs when apps ask for permission from parts of your phone that you do not want to grant or that you do not need. For example, if you give apps access to your microphone, they may be overhearing. So pay attention to what you give them access to. By denying permissions, you can prevent apps from even seeing your data.

If the app turns out to work only if you grant access, you can still grant the permission. But as you get used to checking your app permissions, you'll be more aware of what apps are doing to your phone.

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Turn on or turn off app permissions one after the other

If you install an app with all permissions turned off, you can still enable them one by one in Settings.

1. Go to the settings of your Android phone .

2. Tap Apps or Application Manager .

3. Select the app you want to change by tapping Permissions .

4. Here you can select which permissions you want to enable and disable. For example, your microphone and your camera.

Searching for viruses and other errors

Google Play Protect searches all your apps to identify potentially dangerous apps. Even the most trusted apps can have vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. It's a good idea to periodically review the apps on your phone to ensure the safety of your apps.

1. Go to the settings of your Android phone .

2. Tap Security .

3. Select Google Play Protect . From here you can see all scanned and possibly suspicious apps. In this case, you should take steps to immediately stop using these apps and remove them from the phone.

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Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Disable your location settings.

Since your location settings make up a large part of the tracking, you should disable this setting.

1. Go to the settings of your Android phone .

2. Tap Location .

3. Select Google Location Settings .

4. Slide the toggle switch for Location Reports and Location History to Off.

5. You can go one step further by deleting all location history.

6. If the site needs to be enabled, you can manually turn it on and off when you're done.

Disable the location data in your photos.

1. Go to the photos of your Android phone .

2. Tap the menu and select Settings .

3. Tap Remove geographical position .

4. You can also disable the location of a single photo in the Photo app by opening the photo, clicking the three stacked dots, selecting Info and Select no location . (Or go to a submenu below the map and click Remove Location .)

Read more: Do not be tracked by your smartphone


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