As some of you have probably already had pop up in your Facebook feed, I’ve just received the “we banned this app. One of your friends used it to log into FB and your information may have been shared…blahblahblah.”
We all use a dozen apps in a single day. Maybe more. Anytime we download one to our phone, it demands access to a pile of information, from contacts and camera to microphone and location.
All the apps want that, whether we want to share or not. If we don’t allow it, they won’t let us download. So we have to accept it when downloading.
But we can stop it from continuing the very next minute.
For android phones, if you click SETTINGS, then APPS, then look in the upper right hand corner to see if there are three dots.
Tap the three dots. One of the selections is “App Permissions.” Tap that. (If you don’t have the three dots, look around different apps sections and see where the permissions are for your version of operating system.)
On the next screen after you tap the dots is a list. Contacts, microphone, camera, etc.
Go through each one and turn off any app you don’t want to access that feature.
For example, people are worried about facebook listening in when it’s not actually needed. During the grilling in Congress, Zuckman said FB doesn’t listen in; but this was a huge thing when access to the microphone first came out a year or so ago. Well, you can turn off that microphone.
I’ve turned off the microphone for everything except Google (okay, google, what time is it in…needs the microphone), and so does Messages. But I turned it off for FB Messenger. It sends your actual voice recording, not a text transcript, so that’s no use to me.
Camera. I’ve turned that off for most all the apps except FB, Messages, FB Messenger. I’ve turned off location for my contacts. Why the contacts need to access my location is beyond me.
If ever you find that you turned one off and it actually does impact usability, you can always go back and turn it on again.
I also went through my apps and deleted some that I no longer play on my phone, like Farm Heroes and Fishdom. I can always re-download if my interest in them returns.
The point is that we’re not completely helpless.
The tools to take back some control are there. You just have to know where to find them.