Symantec alerts for permissions on mobile

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The scene is common: when running a new mobile application for the first time, the software asks for authorization to access the camera, microphone and even the record of the last calls. Therein lies the danger: a report by the digital security company Symantec, released by dnetc firsthand, it shows that 45% of Android applications, for example, ask for authorization to know the geographic location of users. On iOS, the rate is 25%.

Sensitive information from users would be being requested by some applications, and not so clearly, even without the need for this to work.

1 of 1 Research shows what kind of information your apps have access to – Photo: Thássius Veloso / dnetc

Research shows what kind of information your apps have access to – Photo: Thássius Veloso / dnetc

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With that, there goes important data that can be passed on to the creators of the applications without need. The researchers found an Android flashlight app with more than 10 million downloads, whose sole purpose is to activate the flash on the phone, which requests access to calls, messages and the camera. «Do you really want the developer to have access to that personal information to use a flashlight?» Asks the report.

According to the analysis of the top 100 free apps on the Play Store and App Store, 46% of apps for the Google system ask for access to the smartphone’s camera, against a quarter of those running on Apple phones.

Two other curious numbers: are the 15% of programs for Android that want to collect data from your SMS messages and the 10% that ask for release for your phone calls.

In addition to grants to access smartphone functions, the survey also found many applications that had scope for personally identifiable information (PII). E-mail addresses were the most requested: in 48% of iOS applications and 44% for Android analyzed. The full name of the user, on the other hand, is shared with one third of the apps on the Apple system and with three out of ten of those that run on the Google operating system.

Information that is considered highly personal is also being shared with cell phone programs. 12% of iOS apps and 9% for Android ask for their users’ phone number. Not even the home address escaped, 5% of Android apps and 4% of those that run on iOS want to know this information.

Tips to avoid headache

Registering and logging in with Facebook or Google account on the apps can also release permissions that you didn’t know about either. Symantec does not recommend logging in with social networks, but remember that it is possible to know what network information the application will have access to before registering.

In addition, Facebook allows you to manage apps that are using your account data in the “Apps and Sites” section, within the settings. Google makes available the My Account website to manage these concessions.

Reading requests instead of just “allowing” is a start to learn what personal information is being released. It is also important to filter the application’s need to have access to some functions. To remove unnecessary permissions, just access “Permissions” on Android phones and “Privacy” on iOS devices.

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