Android App Permissions Can Be Invasive. How to Protect Your Data

Mobile apps are notorious for requesting permissions they don’t need. You’ve probably noticed some of yours Android Apps asking for permissions that are excessive and totally unrelated to what the app is supposedly designed for – like when a flashlight app is requesting access to your camera, microphone, or location. When an app asks for permissions beyond what it needs to function, it’s usually done so the company behind the app can collect as much of it your data as possible and sell them to third parties such as advertisers and data brokers.

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Be aware of permissions like access to your location, camera, microphone, contacts, browsing history, and photo library. These can be particularly invasive if they are not specifically required for an app to function. An app can gather a lot of extremely sensitive personal information from these permissions, which can pose a major risk to your privacy if that data is mishandled or exposed in a breach. That’s why it’s important to manage app permissions on your Android devices.

When managing your app permissions, always make sure to keep them to a minimum. Grant your apps permission to access only what they need on your device to provide the functionality you need from them. For example, a weather app or navigation app obviously needs access to your location to work properly, but there’s no reason why it would need access to your camera or contacts. And in some cases, you might not even need to give a weather app your location details when you can manually enter your zip code or city.

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Luckily, it’s easy to change app permissions on your Android device — and you can choose to manage permissions by app or by permission type.

Note that the steps outlined below apply to devices running Android 11 and later. How to manage app permissions on your Android device.

How to manage Android app permissions by app

If you have concerns about the permissions granted to a specific app on your Android device, you can manage per-app permissions. Here’s what to do:

1. Beat settings.

2. Beat applications.

3. Scroll down and tap on the app in question (or you can search for the app by tapping on the magnifying glass icon).

4. Beat Permissions.

5. Tap a permission to allow or disallow.

You can also access the Permissions Menu from any app by tapping and holding the app’s icon on your phone’s screen. Tap the The information icon in the top right corner of the window that opens to access app information menu and tap Permissions from there.

Of the app information You can also activate the menu Remove permissions when the app is not in use Feature that removes permissions for the app if you haven’t used it for three months.

How to manage Android app permissions by permission type

If you want to see which apps you’ve denied or granted access to a specific permission—like your microphone or location—you can manage your app permissions by permission type. Here’s how:

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1. Beat settings.

2. Beat privacy.

3. Beat Permission Manager.

4. Tap the permission type to see which apps allow the selected permission.

5. Tap and select an app To allow or Don’t allow.

How to universally manage camera and microphone access for all apps

You can even deny all apps access to your camera and/or microphone with a single toggle switch if you want to follow a hard line with those two permissions. Here’s how you can toggle camera and microphone permissions for all apps on your Android device:

1. Beat settings.

2. Beat privacy.

3. Switch camera access and access to the microphone on or off.

This way can be a great way to ensure that no app has access to your camera or microphone. However, keep in mind that video communication apps like Zoom or Skype, which rely on your camera and microphone to operate, will not work properly if you have these permissions set to the off position.

For more advice see Five tips to make your Android phone feel like new againhow one Clear your Android device’s cookies and cache and get rid of excess junk files and how Disinfect and remove fingerprints from your dirty phone screen.

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