Cyber Security Tip of the Day #27: Be careful when you install apps on your mobile device
Many apps want more permissions than actually needed for their function. For example, some flashlight apps want access to your contacts. Why? Usually for marketing purposes to build a better profile on you and your friends. Don’t install apps that require excessive permissions. Always install apps from a trusted source. This helps ensure the app isn’t fake or malicious.
Some examples of unnecessary permissions that apps may ask for include:
Storage: modify/delete USB storage contents — apps that store anything (like pictures and video) will require this.
Device calls: read device state/identity — some apps require this to be able to do something like “pause” when you get a phone call.
Network communication: full Internet access — this often relates to ads too; the app needs to access the Internet to download the ads.
Your location: coarse (network-based) location — many games with ads require this so it can deliver targeted ads.
System tools: prevent device from sleeping — usually means that when you’re using the app, it will keep your phone from going to sleep or in a power save mode.
Your personal information: read contact data — any social media or messaging app needs to access your contact information so you can use them with your friends.