Your Privacy Matters - Android Settings to Switch Off Today!

Moe from Mondo / 30-04-2021 / Tech news

Why privacy matters

Android smartphones are the most popular and widespread cellular devices in the world today. As with iPhones, privacy has become a heated topic since the sudden surge of apps. To understand why this is the case, think of your Android phone as a pocket-sized information collector. At any given time, your smartphone can collect, analyse and sell information about you. But it can only do this, if you explicitly permit it to do so.

With permission, the apps you download can access the searches you perform, the websites you visit, the articles you read, what you buy online, and so much more.

Ultimately, the more permission you grant an app, the easier it is for companies to track you and get a clearer picture of who you are. For this reason alone, it is vital to protect your privacy. This not only places the power back in your hands, it also limits the amount of your information companies freely have access to.

What companies can do with your information

There is high value attached to your personal data. It is a commonly known fact that cell phone companies, apps and social media platforms can sell your data to third parties to generate an extra income. In some instances, companies can even use this data to fund self-run ad networks.

But this doesn’t mean doom and gloom for your Android smartphone! Fortunately, there are ways to curb the amount of information being sent by changing certain privacy settings on your phone.

5 key settings to change on your new phone

Your new Android is packed with many new privacy features that allow you to choose what you’re comfortable sharing with your apps. To make the most of this, ensure your phone has the latest software release, Android 11.

From here, you can control the data you share by switching off the following permissions:

1. Your camera is personal

Apps that have access to your camera can see where you are, what you’re doing, and can reveal deep insights about your digital world. But this is only possible if you allow the app access to camera all the time. For better security, switch this permission off and instead grant a limited permission that will allow less or no access.

2. Keep your location lowkey

Previously, most apps would ask for your location by default and this meant that the majority knew your whereabouts at any given time. To prevent this, new software upgrades now allow you to switch off the all the time permission through one centralised click. For certain apps that need your location to function such as Google Maps, you can grant it access only while the app is in use.

3. Your microphone has ears

It’s quite unnerving knowing that third parties may be picking up sound and conversations on your phone. Much like your camera, your phone’s microphone allows them insight into your personal details. Therefore, it's important to switch off your microphone on apps that don’t require this access to function.

4. More permissions, greater privacy

You can now grant permissions on an Only This Time basis, which grants your apps temporary one-time permission. This provides more reason to switch off lenient permissions and choose more privacy-friendly options.

5. Do an overall check

There’s an app for almost everything and this makes it easy to lose track of what you’ve downloaded. Even if you have a new phone, you will most likely transfer your old phone’s data onto the new one. For this reason, it is important to check the permissions of all your apps once your data is transferred. Go to your settings, locate the Permissions Manager and switch off any permissions that infringe on your privacy.

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