A Closer look at App Permissions
In this the second part of guide to android app permissions. What their actual plain english meanings are, their importance and their information on some of the increainly worrying safety risks they can have for your online security if they left unmanaged.
Note: Over time, the Android operating system may change the way permissions work, including adding or reclassifying certain permissions.
Below are the app permissions available on Android 6.0 and up. The permissions you see on your device may vary by manufacturer.
Note: If your device is running a version lower than Android 6.0, go to review app permissions for more information about how permissions work on your device.
But what do the most popularly requested app permissions really mean?
Below is a basic outline of the different permissions and what agreeing to them will give an app access to on your device.
An app can ask you to make purchases inside the app.
Device & app history
An app can do one or more of the following:
Read sensitive log data
Retrieve system internal state
Read your web bookmarks and history
Retrieve running apps
Cellular data settings
An app can use settings that control your mobile data connection and potentially the data you receive.
An app can use your account and/or profile information on your device. Identity access may include the ability to:
Find accounts on the device
Read your own contact card (example: name and contact information)
Modify your own contact card
Add or remove accounts
An app can use your device’s contacts, which may include the ability to read and modify your contacts.
An app can use your device’s calendar information, which may include the ability to:
Read calendar events plus confidential information
Add or modify calendar events and send email to guests without owners’ knowledge
An app can use your device’s location. Location access may include:
Approximate location (network-based)
Precise location (GPS and network-based)
Access extra location provider commands
An app can use your device’s text messaging (SMS) and/or multimedia messaging service (MMS). This group may include the ability to use text, picture, or video messages.
Depending on your plan, you may be charged by your carrier for text or multimedia messages.
SMS access may include the ability to:Important:
Receive text messages (SMS)
Read your text messages (SMS or MMS)
Receive text messages (MMS, like a picture or video message)
Edit your text messages (SMS or MMS)
Send SMS messages; this may cost you money
Receive text messages (WAP)
An app can use your phone and/or its call history. Depending on your plan, you may be charged by your carrier for phone calls. Phone access may include the ability to:
Directly call phone numbers; this may cost you money
Write call log (example: call history)
Read call log
Reroute outgoing calls
Modify phone state
Make calls without your intervention
An app can use files or data stored on your device. Photos/Media/Files access may include the ability to:
Read the contents of your USB storage (example: SD card)
Modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
Format external storage
Mount or unmount external storage
An app can use your device’s camera. Camera access may include the ability to:
An app can use your device’s microphone. Microphone access may include the ability to record audio.
Wi-Fi connection information
An app can access your device’s Wi-Fi connection information, like if Wi-Fi is turned on and the name(s) of connected devices. Wi-Fi connection information access may include the ability to view Wi-Fi connections.
Note: Since apps typically access the Internet, you’ll only see the Wi-Fi connection information permission group on the download screen when installing an app. Apps no longer display the “full internet access” permission on the download screen, but you can always see the full list of permissions by following the instructions under the “See all permissions for a specific app” section above.
Bluetooth connection information
An app can control Bluetooth on your device, which includes broadcasting to or getting information about nearby Bluetooth devices.
Wearable sensors/activity data
Allows the app to access data from wearable sensors, such as heart rate monitors. Can receive periodic updates on physical activity levels.
Device ID & call information
An app can access your device ID(s), phone number, whether you’re on the phone, and the number connected by a call. Device ID & call information may include the ability to read phone status and identity.
An app can use custom settings provided by your device manufacturer or application-specific permissions.
Important: If an app adds a permission that is in the “Other” group, you’ll always be asked to review the change before downloading an update.
Other access may include the ability to:
Read your social stream (on some social networks)
Write to your social stream (on some social networks)
Access subscribed feeds
You’ll see all permissions from the “Other” group listed on the Play Store, including those that weren’t shown on the app download screen.
Control permissions you approve during app updates
When an app updates, there may be changes to the permissions group for that app.
If you have automatic updates turned on
Turn off auto-updates
We all are guilty of not paying as much attention to the small print or reading all the information or details provided to us at times. Sometimes its all to much to take in and causes information overload for us. With the common device hacks getting more advanced and more of a security risk to our devices and personal data stored on them it. It could be a very costly mistake for certain information we ignore thinking its not important.
DON’T LET YOURSELF BECOME ANOTHER ONLINE STATISTIC FOR CYBER CRIME, BE SMART AND KEEP YOUR DEVICE & DATA SECURE FROM HACKERS.