Protecting your Privacy while Using Mobile Apps

Many mobile applications are developed these days to share every aspect of our private lives. Keeping this in mind, it may be strange to think about protecting your privacy when using the newest mobile applications. 

However, it is not only possible, but important to think about what information you are providing to both the developers of mobile applications and the public with which you use the application to communicate. 

Here are three ways you can protect your privacy while using mobile applications:

  1. Research apps to determine if they are safe before downloading them: There are a few ways to do this. First, you should always look at who developed the app to make sure they are a legitimate developer. This information is readily available in the application’s store listing. For most large companies the company should be the developer. Another way to check a mobile app’s safety is by looking at reviews.  This not only includes the app’s reviews in the app store, but on Google as well. You can always do a quick Google search to see if there are any reviews of the app from other sources online. A Google search for “(Insert App Name) problems” may be rewarding.
  2. Review what information you are allowing the application access to when you accept the terms and permissions. In order to protect against invasions of your privacy, you should make sure that the amount of information you are allowing the app to have access to is only the information it will need to perform its intended function. If it requires access to personal information, you will have to weigh the need for the app versus the exposure of that information to others. For instance, an app should not need access to your contact list if it is an app you are using to edit pictures. Your information is often significantly valuable to marketers and app developers so protect it accordingly.
  3. Turn geolocation and GPS off when it is not immediately needed. This can easily be done through the privacy settings on your smartphone. You can also turn location services on or off in each individual This is a good practice if you use a location based app like Google Maps often, but don’t want the location of your house made public when you post a picture of your dog on Instagram.

Our privacy is becoming a topic of conversation for many people who would not have considered it so important in prior times.  With the development of technology making communication increasingly available, the creep of related privacy issues is coming to the forefront.  There is perhaps nowhere more evident of this than in our use of mobile devices.  However, staying knowledgeable and aware will get you far in the protection of your privacy.


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