Your phone is a goldmine of data, and with the number of sensors housed on a smartphone any app with a set of permissions can gain access data, which can include where you are or how many steps you take in a day. More often than not, people give permissions to apps without giving it a second thought, enabling apps to access the personal information stored on their device.
Although newer versions of Android (Android 10 and above) enable users to control when an app can access their location data, older versions of Android lack this feature. Due to this, apps with permission to access your location can use and upload location data to their servers even when they run in the background.
Therefore, it is essential to keep a check on the kind of data a particular app has access to on your Android device. So, if you don’t want a random wallpaper app to access your contacts, which it absolutely doesn’t need (but wouldn’t mind having), you can follow the steps given below.
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How to restrict app permissions on Android?
Open the settings of your Android device and follow the steps mentioned below to restrict app permissions.
- Tap on Apps under settings
- Tap on the three dots icon in the top right corner
- Then, click on Permission manager in the drop-down menu
- Tap on the category of permissions to which you want to restrict app access.
- On the next screen, tap on the app whose access you want to revoke.
- Tap on Deny to disable the app from accessing a particular kind of data
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Can restricting permissions to apps protect your data?
According to a research study by UC Berkeley (ICSI), more than 1000 apps can access certain resources without permission to do so by using side-channel attacks. So, an app without permissions can access private information by using another app, which has those permissions.
Therefore, it is essential for everyone to restrict the permissions they give to any app as these permissions could potentially be used for a side-channel attack. You should avoid granting permissions to apps, which aren’t essential for them to function.
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