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Auditing your Mobile App permissions

Earlier this week we introduced Maryam and Ehsan’s research in mobile security. We asked them for their advice on what how to reduce security risks with mobiles. Here are their tips:

  • close background apps when you are not using them and uninstall apps you no longer need
  • keep your phone operating system and apps up to date
  • only install applications from approved app stores
  • audit the permissions that apps have on your phone
  • scrutinise the permission requested by apps before you install them and choose alternatives with more sensible permissions if needed

App permissions

app permisssions When you install apps on your phone you will be asked to grant them permissions to access systems or information on your phone. In most instances these requests will be sensible:

  • a routefinding app will ask for permission to use your current location
  • photosharing apps will ask for permission to access your camera and photos

Some apps though may be permissions-greedy - requesting access to systems that aren’t necessary. You can easily check the permissions for apps on your phone.

If you haven’t done this before take a few minutes to look through the worksheets we have attached to this step. You will see there is a worksheet for Android and one for iOS.

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This article is from the free online course:

Cyber Security: Safety at Home, Online, in Life

Newcastle University

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