Android devices are designed to give users control over their privacy, but most-times, third-party apps may pose a threat to this security setting.
Applications are tricky tools in general. This is because they act as a bridge between the hardware and software of devices. Most times, without even understanding what they are doing, users give lots of permissions to these apps.
Now is as good as any time to ensure that third-party apps are not endangering your Android device privacy. See some suggestions to improve this security feature:
1. Apps from unknown sources: By default, your smartphone blocks app installation from many sources. This setting is important but sometimes, a user may undermine it. So, when you get a notification that an app from an ‘unknown source’ wants to be installed, reject it.
No matter how useful it may be, it could endanger your security in the long run.
2. Permissions Review: It is likely that before you read this article or became aware of the danger, you had installed some apps from unknown sources. Also, you may have indiscriminately given them many permissions. Well, you can review these and see if you want to change some things or not.
To check these permissions; go to Settings > Apps > Permissions > Permissions. Under this section, you will see such options as Body Sensors, Contacts, Location and so on. You can check which of your applications has permissions to your location and if you find any untrustworthy one among them, you can turn it off.
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Generally, as security advice, apps that don’t have a good reputation should not be granted access to such device features as camera, location, microphone, contacts, SMS and call logs.
3. Apps not on Play Store: If you are trying to download an application and it is not on Play Store, you are better off without it. Play Store has some security requirements for apps that it hosts. Thus, if that app that was recommended is not there, ignore it; you can likely survive without it.
4. While it has been hinted at, it is important that Android users don’t share location permissions with third-party apps. In fact, experts advise that you limit location sharing with even Google apps as well.
5. Hiding private notifications on your lock screen is also a way to improve your privacy. While locking your Android device means that people are not privy to your secrets, pop-up notifications can undermine this security.
To adjust the setting, go to Settings > Notifications > Lock screen notifications. You first see apps that are allowed to show notifications on your Android lock screen. You can then go about choosing to turn-off the ones that are likely to contain sensitive information.
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