At one point in time or another, we have all granted a new app all the permission that it requested just because we wanted to use it. Whether we wanted to sell laptop online or play a game we had to accept the app’s request first. Even though most of the time, due to the strict guidelines put in place by Google, you may have nothing to worry about when you grant an app several permissions for it to work properly. However, there are times when blindly granting an app permission might not be a very bright idea. This is because while some permissions are tagged as ‘normal’, some are tagged as ‘dangerous.’
Normal and Dangerous Permissions
Permissions such as – having access to the internet, choosing tasks orders, and ending background processes- are all regarded as normal permissions since they do not affect the privacy of the user in any way.
On the other hand, permissions such as – getting current location, having access to your calendar and contact list, ability to use phone sensors, camera and audio recording access, and storage modification are termed dangerous permissions, as these types of permissions threaten your privacy as a user.
Luckily, all the users of android 6.0 above can decide what permission it is that a certain app has on their device.
Dangers of some dangerous permissions
Here are some of the dangers that could come from carelessly granting dangerous permissions to apps. You should at least be sure that the app needs certain permission to work before allowing those permissions.
- Camera: When you permit any app to control your camera, this permits it to take pictures, record videos and even record audio at will. If the app is malicious, then you might find your private pictures or video recordings surfacing on the internet.
- Contacts: By permitting an app to modify your contacts, it means that it can create, edit, delete and also store contacts on your phone. Malicious apps will use this privilege to gather information like your contact phone numbers and emails to use them for phishing scams or other attacks.
- Location: This one is a big one in the industry, and this is because when an app has access to your location, it can tell where you are at all times. This means an app can also manipulate your GPS tracker. Cybercriminals and even the government can use apps like this to track people and study their habits. This is one of the most dangerous permissions to grant an app.
Highly Dangerous permissions
- Administrator privileges: This permission is very dangerous as it allows an app to make changes to your device at the very basic system level. This permission grants it accesses to password, security, and data modification. Most antivirus apps would request this kind of permission to help secure your phone remotely if it gets stolen. However, a malicious app can cause a lot of damage with this kind of privilege.
- Root Privileges: This is the highest level of privilege that an app can be granted, and this gives an app access to the most basic functions of your device. This kind of permission allows an app to wipe the whole phone of its data. You should be very wary of apps that request this kind of permission as it is very rare for an app to request this level of control.
I hope with the limited information in this article; you at least understand how the permissions that you grant to your apps can affect your privacy and the functionality of your phone. Learn to read permission requests of apps at all times to avoid compromising your privacy.