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Don't blindly accept all privileges requested by mobile apps (they often don't need all of them)

Most of us have probably downloaded at least one app to our mobile devices or phones by now. But have you ever noticed what they are asking for when you download them. Sometimes they don’t need access to all the resources on your device that they are requesting.

I recommend unchecking anything that doesn’t seem like it’s needed when the security screen appears. If they are asking for access to your contacts or documents, but the app is just a game that shouldn’t need access to anything, you should start by unchecking them.

If the app really needs those things to work, it will tell you, either right away, or when you try to run it. This may sound like an inconvenience, but do you really want a game manufacturer to have access to all your contacts? I don’t.

It’s not always easy to figure out what the permission actually does, or why they need it. But it’s easy to get into the habit of just accepting what’s requested. I don’t think this is a good idea, from a security point of view.

Most iPhones and iPads don’t bother asking when you install an app, but the apps may ask for things like Location Services when you try to run them.

Android devices usually tell you what services an app wants permission to access.

My Blackberry also has a number of items that apps can request permission to access when they are downloaded. I uncheck any that don’t make sense. Then if I get an error, it usually tells me what needs to be turned on for it to work.

Scott Wright

The Streetwise Security Coach

Phone: 1-613-693-0997

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