Is your Android phone spying on you? In a recent Northeastern University study, researchers discovered both good and bad news. The good? Researchers didn’t find evidence that Android phones were recording users’ conversations, which is a common fear. The bad news? They found something potentially more troubling.
Using more than 17,000 popular apps, researchers found evidence that these apps take screenshots and record activity during use. Further, third-party apps can piggyback on other apps you’re using without you knowing it to harvest your information.
Most users assume there’s nothing they can do. While you can’t completely prevent your information from being gathered, here are ten steps you can take to limit who gets your data and how much.
1. Update Your Android Software and Apps
Software developers are constantly working on security patches and fixing bugs. By not updating apps and software, you could be vulnerable to hackers. In May of 2019, developers at WhatsApp found a security breach and created a patch that could be fixed with a simple update.
2. What Kind of Data Does an App Need, Anyway?
If you are using a mapping app, it needs access to your location services. But does that word game you play with an out-of-state friend need that data? Not likely. Check what data your apps are using and turn off any tracking that isn’t necessary.
How do you change the permissions?
- Go to Settings
- TAP Apps or Application Manager
- Select the app using Permissions to make changes