Technology

These 7 Apps are Among the Worst at Protecting Privacy

Phone dating apps used by gay men to find a sexual partner carry a higher risk of getting common sexually transmitted infections than meeting online or in bars and clubs, according to a recent study. (Photo: Flickr/ Yutaka Tsutano)
Phone dating apps used by gay men to find a sexual partner carry a higher risk of getting common sexually transmitted infections than meeting online or in bars and clubs, according to a recent study. (Photo: Flickr/ Yutaka Tsutano)

Kim Komando, USA TODAY

 
(USA Today) – When you’re browsing through the millions of apps available from the Apple and Android app stores, you’ll notice that close to 98% of them are free to download. That’s great if you’re looking to fill up your gadget, but many free apps, and some paid ones, do come with a hidden price: your privacy.

Permissions 101

When apps install on your gadget, they request permission to access certain information or phone features. Sometimes they need this information and sometimes it’s not necessary.

A messaging app, for example, needs permission to access to your contacts and Wi-Ficonnection to do its job. However, a Flashlight app doesn’t need to know your location or have full Internet access.

Most people just hit “Accept” and install apps without reading what they do. Want to see something funny? Watch people’s reactions when they actually read the permissions they’re approving.

Apple gadgets let you approve or deny each permission individually. You can go to Settings > Privacy and open a feature like the Camera to see and control what apps have permission to access it. Or you can go to Settings and scroll to the bottom and tap a particular app to see and control its permissions.

 

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