Contact us today!
(800) 588-4430

Telesys Voice and Data Blog

Telesys Voice and Data has been serving the Dallas/Fort Worth 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
Friday, 21 February 2020
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

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 Business Computing Cloud Best Practices Hackers Malware Privacy Business Email Productivity Hosted Solutions Microsoft Network Security Software Internet IT Services Productivity Computer Windows 10 Managed Service Provider Backup Data Backup Innovation Ransomware Mobile Devices Business Continuity Outsourced IT Smartphone Data Android Hardware Efficiency Upgrade Google Disaster Recovery Social Media Managed IT services User Tips Data Recovery Workplace Tips IT Support Browser Communication IT Support Small Business Business Management Cloud Computing Managed IT Services Data Management App Smartphones Holiday Microsoft Office Cybersecurity Network Internet of Things Office Remote Monitoring Phishing Miscellaneous Server Office 365 Windows Password Facebook VoIP Paperless Office communications WiFi Artificial Intelligence Gmail Big Data Save Money Encryption Spam Collaboration Passwords Tech Term Risk Management Compliance Vendor Management Unified Threat Management Bandwidth Firewall Saving Money Robot Apps Hosted Solution Recovery Wi-Fi Customer Relationship Management Windows 10 Employer-Employee Relationship Document Management Tip of the week Analytics Apple Avoiding Downtime Word Hacker Customer Service Mobile Device Management Operating System How To Content Filtering Windows 7 Government Remote Computing Money Work/Life Balance Downtime Managed IT Infrastructure Office Tips Chrome Healthcare Health Automation Managed Service The Internet of Things Going Green Computers Vulnerability Alert Help Desk Hacking Printing Mobile Computing Data storage Data Security Tech Support Applications Computing Software as a Service Education IT Management Cybercrime Virtual Reality Training Mobile Device Antivirus SaaS Presentation Redundancy Business Growth BYOD Social Project Management Data loss BDR Website Outlook Business Technology Telephone Systems Two-factor Authentication File Sharing Settings Best Practice Politics Monitors Lithium-ion battery Patch Management Travel Solid State Drive Identity Theft Google Drive Business Owner Scam Websites Augmented Reality Regulations Physical Security Marketing Taxes Electronic Health Records Running Cable Botnet IBM VPN Assessment Samsung Net Neutrality Server Management Licensing Proactive Competition Search Virtual Private Network Smart Technology Meetings Bring Your Own Device Consultation Digital Payment Sports Storage HIPAA Information Technology IT service Remote Monitoring and Management Cortana Router Maintenance Computer Care Humor Virtualization Mobile Security Administration Analyitcs Safety IT solutions Tablet Wireless Technology Wireless Automobile Upgrades Budget Access Control End of Support Specifications Mouse IoT YouTube User Unified Communications Legal Display Retail LiFi Twitter Laptops Multi-Factor Security Wires Business Telephone business communications systems Staff Current Events Procurement flu shot Consulting Processors Laptop Cost Management Active Directory Hard Drives Permissions G Suite How To Heating/Cooling Google Calendar Virtual Desktop Internet Protocol Flexibility Remote Worker Fort Worth IT Motion Sickness Hard Disk Drive Supercomputer Halloween Google Docs Hard Drive Windows Server Refrigeration Networking Fraud Firefox VoIP streamlines Operations PowerPoint Servers Legislation Writing MSP Fun Social Networking Professional Services DFW IT Service Deep Learning Personal Information IT Budget Scary Stories Recycling User Management Consumers IT Consultant business network infrastructure Wearable Technology Cyberattacks Machine Learning Social Engineering Motherboard Virtual Assistant Computer Repair Cleaning Notifications Management Batteries Undo Techology Internet Exlporer Bookmarks Statistics Relocation Software Tips eWaste IP Address Alt Codes Electronic Medical Records Google Wallet Voice over Internet Protocol Mail Merge Distributed Denial of Service IT Sevices Webcam data services Crowdsourcing Dark Data Enterprise Resource Planning Remote Work Disaster Resistance Mobile Office IT Technicians Favorites Bluetooth Technology Tips Private Cloud WPA3 Environment Typing Drones Modem Address Managed IT Service Point of Sale Corporate Profile Quick Tips User Error Buisness Mobile File Management Proactive IT Hotspot Troubleshooting Mirgation Conferencing Comparison Error History Fleet Tracking Cryptocurrency Knowledge Cookies Manufacturing Break Fix WannaCry Time Management Printer Company Culture Telephone IT Consulting Language Migration Employees Phone System Mobility Black Friday Cabling Asset Tracking Bitcoin Update Staffing Experience Nanotechnology Gadgets Dark Web Web Server Network Management Vulnerabilities Mobile VoIP Data Breach Computing Infrastructure Chatbots Zero-Day Threat Cyber Monday Administrator 3D Printing Remote Workers Windows 8 Chromebook GPS Proactive Maintenance Data Warehousing Cameras VoIP Touchscreen SharePoint Law Enforcement Google Maps Network Congestion Geography Windows Server 2008 Domains Technology Laws Alerts 5G Identity Backup and Disaster Recovery Entrepreneur flu season Disaster Unsupported Software Information Emoji Tracking Utility Computing Processor Application Lenovo Microsoft Excel CCTV Digital Downloads Gadget Users Cables Co-Managed IT Public Speaking Unified Threat Management Cooperation iPhone Hacks RMM Shortcut Fort Worth Uninterrupted Power Supply Mobile Data Monitoring Superfish Blockchain Spyware

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