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Security Tips to Prevent Apps from Accessing Your Data | Security

In the midst of this scenario, technology giants like Google and Apple have announced new versions of their operating systems that limit app access to user information. However, in addition to the changes made by the platforms themselves regarding privacy policies, it is important that the user also knows how to protect himself. While there are no tools that explicitly warn which service is pushing the envelope in this regard, some actions can help soften the picture. O TechTudo Below are some security tips to prevent apps from improperly accessing your data.

WhatsApp and Telegram can allow hackers to manipulate photos and videos.

Messaging applications like WhatsApp offer asymmetric encryption Photo: Luciana Maline / TechTudoMessaging applications like WhatsApp offer asymmetric encryption Photo: Luciana Maline / TechTudo

Messaging applications like WhatsApp offer asymmetric encryption Photo: Luciana Maline / TechTudo

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1. Application Permissions

For applications to operate on a device, the user must allow the user to have access to various data, which varies by service. Permission is generally required to access location, microphone, gallery files, and even telephone call management.

GOL app splash screens ask for location and contact access permission Photo: Playback / Raquel FreireGOL app splash screens ask for location and contact access permission Photo: Playback / Raquel Freire

GOL app splash screens ask for location and contact access permission Photo: Playback / Raquel Freire

A good practice that ensures the privacy of user data is to carefully analyze which permissions are being granted to applications. A platform that only offers photo filter service, for example, does not need to have user location access which makes sense for a GPS navigation app like Google Maps.

By setting up a new service for your device, you can deny permissions to data that does not match the platform's functionality and adjust them in the device settings at any time. Another tip is to check your phone's performance after installing apps. Those that slow you down or consume your battery quickly may be infected with malware.

Even if a service does not raise initial suspicions about its performance, it is important that the user researches more about the terms of use and the company behind the development. A quick Google search can yield important results about possible data leakage scandals from users in which companies and applications were involved.

Another option is to check the app's rating and recommendation by other users at official stores, such as Google Play Store and App Store. Practice can bring more security to user privacy and prevent headaches by improperly accessing these programs to the data contained on your device.

3. Social Network Exposure

By accessing Facebook privacy settings Photo: Playback / Marvin CostaBy accessing Facebook privacy settings Photo: Playback / Marvin Costa

By accessing Facebook privacy settings Photo: Playback / Marvin Costa

By limiting their exposure on social networks, the user makes it difficult for companies to build their profile based on personal data granted to apps. Thus, it will also be more difficult for them to propagate for various purposes, such as the creation and delivery of advertisements. Avoid posting too much information about yourself and restrict access to what is online only for family circle and friends.

The recent scandal that has engulfed Facebook in leaking user data to Cambridge Analytica, for example, has shown how political orientations, religious beliefs and personal tastes can be useful data for companies manipulating social contexts, such as the US presidential election, or Even for the creation of advertising. The more a user exposes themselves to social networks, the more vulnerable they are to applications and, consequently, to corporate actions behind the services.

4. Operating System Update

Another way to make your smartphone more secure by regularly updating the operating system. Practice makes the user always a step ahead of hackers and applications that intend to violate privacy policies. This year, for example, both Google and Apple announced that their users' privacy is the focus of new versions of their systems, scheduled for release later this year.

Apple announces more privacy on iOS 13; user may limit apps access to data on device Photo: Playback / AppleApple announces more privacy on iOS 13; user may limit apps access to data on device Photo: Playback / Apple

Apple announces more privacy on iOS 13; user may limit apps access to data on device Photo: Playback / Apple

What's new in Android 10 (Q) and iOS 13 is the feature that allows the user to limit application access to their location and greater vigilance against background apps. Not to be out of these updates, it is recommended that the user configure their device to download the new version of the operating system as it becomes available. The practice goes for both Android and iPhone (iOS).

5. Google Play Store and the App Store

Checking app information on the Google Play Store or App Store may prevent you from downloading suspicious services. Photo: Rodrigo Fernandes / TechTudoChecking app information on the Google Play Store or App Store may prevent you from downloading suspicious services. Photo: Rodrigo Fernandes / TechTudo

Checking app information on the Google Play Store or App Store may prevent you from downloading suspicious services. Photo: Rodrigo Fernandes / TechTudo

A safe step to download minimally reliable apps by downloading services directly from official stores like the Google Play Store and the App Store. While practice does not fully guarantee the security of a service, the platforms available at these stores must offer a minimum standard of data protection to the user, as well as a privacy policy that tells how the app protects your information.

Downloading applications through untrustworthy websites can infect the user's device with malware and even give others complete control of the device. Before using the Google Store and App Store to download an app, check how long the service has been running and see recommendations from other users. Malicious programs may appear eventually, such as a fake version of Telegram that has been downloaded over 100,000 times.

6. Apps with end-to-end encryption

To avoid the invasion of privacy in instant messaging applications, opt for those using end-to-end encryption. WhatsApp is one of the options that offers technology that makes messaging safer between people. Telegram, which also uses the feature in secret chats, enables the user to even self-destruct messages. Even so, I need to be aware of possible flaws in this system.

Telegram uses end-to-end encryption in secret chats Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudoTelegram uses end-to-end encryption in secret chats Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudo

Telegram uses end-to-end encryption in secret chats Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudo

In addition, you can perform a security procedure on both applications to further ensure your privacy. Two-step verification is an added protection that, when enabled, requires the user to enter an extra password at each login to a new device. Remember that Messenger, Facebook's messaging application, does not adopt end-to-end encryption by default. To use it, I need to open a secret chat through the secure messaging app.

WhatsApp: Five Tips for Using the App Safely

WhatsApp: Five Tips for Using the App Safely