If you have any experience of Android then you know that any half-decent app you download will get many updates in the future. With luck these updates will improve your user experience and make your life just that little bit more pleasurable.
One issue with apps is the data they need to access. It’s something you are warned about when you install the app. Some apps will want to access data like your GPS to work out your current location – logical for something like Foursquare or a navigation app that works on location based activities but perhaps not so important for a music app. Other apps might like to access your phone and address book. You need to be wondering why these apps need to access these sorts of things. Sometimes it’s for a perfectly harmless reason and will improve your experience. Other times its because you are installing a dodgy app that’s going to send loads of premium rate text messages and phone calls to rob you blind or remotely download your address book and contact list to spam and phish your friends.
This is why you always need to be aware of what you are installing and what it’s trying to access.
The other problem is where you install an app and everything seems fine, then later on when it updates it suddenly requires access to something it shouldn’t and you don’t realise then it all goes horribly wrong.
Fret not! There is a simple solution. Clueful Privacy Advisor is an app by Bitdefender that basically does what it says on the tin. It scans your phone and checks apps to see what things they are trying to access. Then gives you a score and warning based on those results. It also scans new app downloads and any updates of apps and warns you if they are a low, moderate or high privacy risk.
Obviously high risk apps need to be dealt with pretty swiftly, but you might like to check moderate apps too and investigate what they are accessing.
When I first installed Clueful I noticed the Flashlight app I was using was accessing my phone calls and had the ability to read my text messages. Erm, whoops, uninstalled that one rather quickly.
If you are careful and check what apps access before you install and read reviews beforehand too you’ll probably be ok, but Clueful helps make double sure.