Contact us today!
(800) 588-4430

Telesys Voice and Data Blog

Telesys Voice and Data has been serving the Richland Hills area since 1994, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tip of the Week: Do You Know What Your Android Permissions Actually Mean?

Tip of the Week: Do You Know What Your Android Permissions Actually Mean?

Downloading an application on an Android device is fairly simple: access the Google Play store, find the app you want to download, and press the button that says install. However, it is also too easy to simply hit ‘Allow’ once the app starts asking for ambiguously-worded permissions. Today, we’ll examine what these permissions actually mean.

It is important to understand that these permissions are not ambiguous by accident. Due to the various responses that different users will have to a request to access certain parts of the device (like the camera, for instance), developers have taken to describing the possible effect of an application’s access, instead of simply saying what it will be accessing.

Therefore, you may find yourself giving your applications permission to access and even alter more than you realized, simply because the permissions your apps have requested didn’t give you a clear idea of what they entail. This can be risky, especially if the app in question was created by an unscrupulous developer seeking access to your information.

If you see the following permission requests, know that they are considered and classified as “Dangerous.” The reasons that these permissions could put your security at risk are included.

  • Phone permissions -- These permissions give an app the ability to interact with your calls and call history however the developer wants it to. As a result, the app can make calls (including those that use Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP), as well as read and edit your calls list. An app with these permissions can also read your network information to collect data on the calls that you have made, and can even redirect your calls or hang up the phone. Essentially, phone permissions give an app control over the primary function of a cellular phone. While this may sound frightening, it is important to realize that this permission is often asked for so that any app you may be using when you receive a call can be paused. As a result, this is a permission that many games and multimedia apps will ask for.
  • SMS permissions -- These permissions give an app the ability to both send SMS messages and read any that are incoming. Not only does this present some obvious privacy concerns, it also means that a criminal could leverage this access to add paid services to your account without your consent.
  • Contact permissions -- As with any of the permissions on this list, there are completely aboveboard reasons that an application would require access to your contacts, as well as the ability to edit them. However, in the wrong hands, your contact list becomes a resource for a spammer to pull their next victims from. It is also important to consider that these permissions grant access to any accounts that your apps use, including Facebook, Google, and others.
  • Calendar permissions -- With these permissions granted, an app can read, edit, and create events in your calendar. However, this also means that an app can review your calendar without restriction, with the ability to edit or remove anything they want.
  • Camera permissions -- These permissions, perhaps obviously, allow an app to utilize your phone’s built-in camera to capture images and video. However, these permissions don’t specify that the app has to necessarily be in use to do so, allowing the app to potentially record your life whenever it wants.
  • Microphone permissions -- Just as the camera permissions allow an app to capture visual content, microphone permissions allow an app to use the onboard microphone to capture sounds and audio. Also like camera permissions, there is nothing that says the application has to be in use for it to do so, and so an app could potentially record anything your device could pick up at any time.
  • Storage permissions -- If granted these permissions, an application can read and write information to your phone’s storage, whether it's in the onboard storage or an added SD card. Like other permissions with the “Dangerous” label, this also means that the app can edit and remove files from your data storage. This is another common permission, as just about every app you download will likely need to store a small amount of your usage data. This includes services that save your login information, like Netflix, to games that store your progress, like Candy Crush Saga.
  • Location permissions -- These permissions allow an app to read your location at any time. Based on what the app is looking for, this location is either very exact (coming from GPS data) or a more general one (based on local Wi-Fi hotspots and cellular base stations). This could create a problem, as a criminal could potentially obtain your location history from the app and use it to establish your behaviors.
  • Body sensor permissions - These are not seen quite as often as other permissions, but you are apt to see them if you use certain accessories (like fitness trackers) and their associated apps to track your health data. These permissions allow the app to access that data. However, there permissions are not related to your device’s native movement tracking abilities.

It is important to remember that most applications that request these permissions are doing so simply in order to do what you want it to do. A messaging application without SMS permissions isn’t going to be able to do its job. Social networks, especially Instagram, need access to the camera in order to take the photos that you edit and share.

However, you should always consider why an app might request certain permissions, and if there is actually any reason that those permissions are necessary for the app to function. If the same messaging application were to ask for body sensor information, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to seek out a different app for your needs.

Make sure you subscribe to the Telesys Voice and Data blog for more IT tips and best practices!

Comments

 
No comments yet
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Saturday, 20 October 2018
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Blog Archive

Free Consultation

Sign up today for a
FREE Network Consultation

How secure is your IT infrastructure?
Let us evaluate it for free!

Sign up Now!

Free Consultation
 

Tag Cloud

Security Tip of the Week Technology Cloud Best Practices Hackers Malware Privacy Business Computing Productivity Email Business Microsoft Internet Hosted Solutions Windows 10 Software Managed Service Provider Backup Computer IT Services Ransomware Network Security Mobile Devices Smartphone Android User Tips Managed IT services Hardware Google Browser IT Support Outsourced IT Workplace Tips Social Media Efficiency Communication Disaster Recovery Innovation Data Backup Business Continuity Data Data Management Smartphones App Business Management Holiday Upgrade Small Business Office Productivity Cloud Computing Windows Miscellaneous WiFi Internet of Things Facebook Microsoft Office Network Data Recovery Remote Monitoring Server Office 365 Artificial Intelligence Gmail Spam Big Data Phishing Encryption Tech Term Customer Relationship Management Unified Threat Management Bandwidth Firewall Apps Robot Save Money Paperless Office Hosted Solution Recovery Password Cybersecurity Word Hacker Managed IT Services Passwords Chrome How To Content Filtering Government Apple Avoiding Downtime Money Work/Life Balance Wi-Fi Customer Service Mobile Device Management Infrastructure Office Tips Employer-Employee Relationship Saving Money Document Management Risk Management Tip of the week Remote Computing The Internet of Things Computers Data Security Alert Applications IT Support Outlook Data storage Computing Education IT Management Cybercrime Virtual Reality Health Mobile Device Antivirus SaaS Project Management Hacking BYOD Social Managed IT Mobile Computing Data loss Website Tech Support BDR Operating System Windows 10 Telephone Systems File Sharing Two-factor Authentication Compliance Settings VoIP Analytics Vendor Management Presentation Business Growth Identity Theft Google Drive Automation Websites Physical Security Augmented Reality Going Green VPN Taxes Specifications IBM Running Cable Botnet Printing Virtual Private Network Smart Technology Assessment Samsung User HIPAA Server Management Licensing Meetings Bring Your Own Device Search Router Mobile Security Digital Payment Sports Storage Retail IT service Maintenance Cortana Virtualization Best Practice Computer Care Administration Lithium-ion battery Business Owner Training IT solutions Safety Marketing Wireless Technology Tablet Upgrades Wireless Automobile Budget Business Technology Competition Downtime End of Support communications Mouse Information Technology YouTube Unified Communications Collaboration Legal Healthcare Humor LiFi Patch Management Scam Twitter Analyitcs Monitors Politics Travel Regulations Vulnerability Hard Drives Networking Fraud G Suite How To Processors Laptop Management Virtual Desktop Fleet Tracking VoIP streamlines Operations Phone System Heating/Cooling Legislation Motion Sickness Hard Disk Drive Social Networking DFW IT Service Refrigeration Net Neutrality Firefox Supercomputer Halloween Google Docs Enterprise Resource Planning Writing Asset Tracking business network infrastructure Wearable Technology Servers Help Desk Deep Learning Personal Information Fun Motherboard Techology Internet Exlporer IT Consultant IT Budget Scary Stories Mobile Social Engineering Remote Workers data services Software as a Service Machine Learning Computer Repair Mail Merge Distributed Denial of Service Undo Disaster Resistance Cleaning Consultation Notifications Vulnerabilities Electronic Health Records iPhone IP Address IT Technicians Statistics Technology Tips Relocation Software Tips Webcam Alt Codes Electronic Medical Records Google Wallet Modem Address Managed IT Service Proactive IT Hotspot User Error Crowdsourcing Dark Data Geography Cyberattacks Mobile Office Mirgation Bluetooth Comparison Private Cloud Point of Sale Corporate Profile Typing Drones Cookies Redundancy Break Fix IT Consulting Language Quick Tips Printer Buisness Cables Bookmarks Migration Black Friday Error History WannaCry Cryptocurrency Knowledge Nanotechnology Dark Web Data Breach Computing Infrastructure PowerPoint Time Management Access Control Wires Favorites Chatbots Cyber Monday Cabling Web Server Bitcoin Update Staffing Experience IoT Consumers Data Warehousing MSP Technology Laws Alerts Network Management SharePoint 3D Printing Conferencing Identity flu season Administrator Microsoft Excel Cameras VoIP Windows 8 Chromebook GPS Utility Computing Lenovo Proactive eWaste Domains Unified Threat Management Cooperation Touchscreen Downloads Law Enforcement Google Maps Network Congestion Unsupported Software 5G Entrepreneur Shortcut Fort Worth IT Sevices Disaster Superfish Blockchain CCTV Digital Emoji Tracking Application Remote Monitoring and Management Environment Public Speaking business communications systems Staff Multi-Factor Security Gadget Users Display Uninterrupted Power Supply Mobile Data Hacks flu shot Permissions Spyware Cost Management WPA3 Troubleshooting Internet Protocol Flexibility Google Calendar Solid State Drive Current Events Fort Worth IT

Top Blog

Don't be Afraid to Replace Got an older PC that's causing you a lot of issues? Older technology is typically more expensive to run, and after a while, it's cheaper to simply buy a new desktop than it is to continue pouring money into something that always seems broken. It's a great time to buy wo...
QR-Code