The Permissions That You Give Your Mobile Phone Are Very Important

When we use our smartphones these days we tend to like to download a lot of apps. I mean that only makes sense because that is the main reason why most of us have smartphones in the first place. The fact that we can use our phones just like mini computers is a great reason to get a higher priced smart phone than a normal priced feature phone. You want to be able to play games or do work while you are on the go. No matter where you are at you will be able to use your tiny little phone just like it was the big monster desktop computer that you have at your house.


But just like your desktop computer at home, you have to remember that the bad guys are always lurking. And it does not matter if it is your phone or your home computer, the bad guys are going to try and find some way to get in and take over your device. At this point everyone should know that is the case and when they are installing or downloading a program on any device they should be worried.

When it comes to computers you have to worry about surfing the web and you have to worry about downloading a piece of software from the wrong place. Both of these actions could cause your computer to become infected and unusable. But when you are talking about your smart phone there is something else completely that you have to worry about. While you do have to worry about surfing the wrong websites and installing a bad program that is nothing more than malware in disguise there is something else to consider. You also have to worry about the permissions that you give the legitimate apps that you have installed on your phone.

When we say permissions, we are talking about what you allow that app to do while it is on your phone. Some common permissions that you might see on a normal install is that the app will want to talk to the internet while it is running on your phone. Or the app will want to get the names and phone numbers of the people you have in your contact list on the phone. Or the app might want to send email to other people while it is installed on your phone. Almost every app out there is going to ask for these types of permissions because that is how they will be able to do something that is worth anything of value on the phone. But some of the apps out there will ask for these permissions to abuse your phone.

There are apps out there that will ask for the permissions that we talked about earlier even though they do not need them. For example if you have an app that is only going to install a new piece of wallpaper on your phone then there is a good chance that it does not need to access your contacts. If it is asking for that type of permission then they are probably going to do something that you do not want. It might be simple spamming or it might be worse.

So if you want to make sure you keep your phone safe, always check the permissions that the app is asking for. If it is a permission that you do not think it needs then you should worry about putting the app on the phone.

photo: pittaya

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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