How To Check App Permissions on Your Android Phone

Android apps function by accessing information from your phone. Before you install an app from the Market, a list of “permissions” that the app needs from your phone is shown to you. Do you really take the time to read all of it for every app you install? Probably not.

App permissions are important because some of these settings may breach your privacy by accessing sensitive information, delete or modify the contents of your phone, or incur mobile carrier charges without your knowledge.

If you were not able to check an app’s permission settings during installation, there is still a way to retrieve this information. Below are the steps:

1. Tap on your phone’s Menu key and go to Settings>Applications>Manage Applications. You will then see a list of downloaded/installed applications.

2. From the list, tap on the app you want to check the permissions for.

3. Scroll down and you should get a similar screen as illustrated below. The list will give you information about permissions given to the app, with a brief explanation of each.

As you can see from the example above, the app in question can access personal data and modify the phone’s contents. This is acceptable for most apps, depending on its function – such as file managers and photo sharing apps. At this point, you would have to determine whether the permissions seem to serve the app’s purpose. If not, it’s probably not a secure app to have on your phone. You may also want to check for the developer and visit its website to verify its credibility.

Watch out for overly demanding permissions for installing apps that do not seem to require them. There has been issues in the past of applications that are bogus and might not be good for your phone or your privacy.

Knowing your app’s permission settings help make you a step ahead from untrustworthy developers and apps in the Market. Be aware and know how to counteract these possible threat to your phone security.


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