All Eyes on You: How to Stay Private by Preventing Your Android from Tracking You

Our smartphones know where we’re sitting or standing at this very second. Most people know it. Otherwise, we won’t be able to use our GPS. While location tracking is vital for directions, it also helps big tech sell you stuff.

The biggest of all, and a worldwide known phenomenon, “Targeted advertising” is businesses’ most loyal friend. Corporates are eager to flood your phone/laptop/smart TV with ads, which are primarily influenced by your day-to-day habits. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and search engines like Google and many others make money off mobile ads, and they need this information to nourish their data-mining machines.

Why is your phone allowed to track and share your data with unknown third parties? Put it simply, you gave it permission. It’s a matter of patience and attention – something that many people lack. Typical data-sharing policies are hidden within pages and pages of terms of agreements and policies.

When asked about, businesses usually have a reasonable explanation, such as Apple tacking personal emails and calls to prevent fraud, which most people consider an invasion of privacy.

Regardless of the device, accessing the internet subjects users to behavioral tracking. Even some of the most popular apps that you have come to rely on and love could be posing more of a danger than they’re worth.

While it’s easy as a pie to forget the need for privacy in a society where everyone airs everything online, you should not forget how little information someone needs in order to steal your identity and even wreak havoc on your bank account. We’ve gathered some details about which apps you trust with your privacy and which ones need to go.

Proactive Protection

You can avoid a lot of drama if you take simple steps before downloading any apps at all. Only get mobile apps from legit stores such as Goggle store. When you’ve found a legit app, and you’re about to download it, be stringent about permissions and check on application permissions on a regular basis.

When it’s the case, make sure you turn off permissions that are not essential for the application to operate properly. It’s always a smart move to do a little research first. We suggest you check the app’s reviews before downloading it.

There are also countless VPN services available for Android users, which can help you bypass tracking, digital spying, data collection, cybercriminals, and invasive ads. According to Reddit, VPNs remain a viable option for privacy both on your mobile device and home computer.

CamScanner

Cyber experts identify CamScanner as one of those apps’ users should be concerned about. They have identified a dangerous element installed in the app that works as Trojan-Downloader and keeps collecting infected files, they say. Cam Scanner can significantly damage your mobile device and should be de-installed immediately. Fortunately, once you’ve removed it from your device, it is highly unlikely that it will continue harming you.

Although there are safer alternatives that perform the same functions as CamScanner, cybersecurity experts say that the app is only an imitation of the real scanner, which means that you can always resume the traditional machine.

Weather Apps

Weather apps are no-friend. There have been different weather apps out there that have been infected with Trojans and other malicious viruses.

While the most benevolent of all claims to collect your data purely for weather accuracy, cyber experts call that questionable. A healthier alternative, technically speaking, would be to watch your morning local forecasts instead, and if you’re using apps like Good Weather, delete it now.

Facebook

Look, we all love our social media applications. Yet, if you’re looking for apps to delete and protect your privacy and data, the absolute worst offender is on your Home Screen. The sheer amount of Facebook data collection is shocking, and it is usually more intrusive than Google is.

Facebook remains notorious for the way it collects data on its users even when they don’t use their service. Yet, uninstalling Facebook-powered applications from your mobile device is a great first step to protecting your privacy.

Instagram

Facebook and Instagram are both owned by Facebook, which is exactly what makes them all risky. Data Intelligence and Cyber Security experts say that Instagram requests several included permissions but aren’t limited to reading or modifying contacts and content storage, reading your call log, locating your device, modifying system settings, and getting full network access.

What’s more concerning, Instagram’s updates may automatically add additional capabilities. The thing is that everyone should be remembered that at Facebook and plenty of other social platforms, the user is the product, not the customer. Your personal data, what you do, who you interact with, and where you drink your coffee, etc., is valuable.

If you’re OK with giving your information for some free services, that’s a reasonable choice. Still, app users should think enough through the choice in a knowledgeable manner and make sure they’re receiving as much as they’re offering.

WhatsApp

For those who may be living under a rock and unaware of the susceptibilities that were disclosed earlier this year, this is a call to action. The vulnerabilities with WhatsApp – both Android and iOS versions- allow intruders to target users by simply sending a specially crafted message to their phone number. If the message has been successfully exploited, the cybercriminals can gain access to the same information and feature WhatsApp has access to, be it your camera, your contact list, the microphone, and more.

Indeed, attackers now have the ability to do a lot of creepy spying. This is still one of the most widespread issues cybersecurity experts witnessed impacting mobile devices, and they continue to see out-of-date versions on enterprise devices.

Though we have to break the news to you, it might be worth knowing that all apps come with a degree of risk. No matter the app, cybersecurity experts advice users to always review permissions, disable location services whenever possible, and disable geotagging for pictures.

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