Cell phone apps can invade your privacy. Think about it. Our smart phones seem to always be within reach. We use them to map out directions, order food, buy groceries, get movie tickets, make reservations, look up reviews, and so much more. This information can be used for more than just advertising. And there is a surprising level of information that your cell phone apps are sharing about you with companies you have probably never even heard of!
Did you know that even when you are not actively using your phone, the apps on your phone are using YOU? They are sending out information that can be used to spam your email, send you robo-calls, and follow your every move online.
What can the apps on your phone access?
• Your cell phone number
• Your email address
• Your location (in real-time)
• Your Gender
• Even Your Motion
Why would apps need this information?
They are tracking information about you to build a profile. While many apps don’t sell your information, some allow third party companies to get extra data from your device even though you didn’t authorize it.
A few helpful tips:
1. Delete apps you are not using – just get rid of them!
2. Create an alternate name that you use for games. Apps don’t need to know your real name or your real email.
3. Don’t sign in with Google or Facebook. Create a separate account. Once you use the app to sign in, you are giving these companies authorization to use your information.
Can you do anything to fight back against trackers?
Absolutely, yes. In the end, be smart and be vigilant in making sure that you know the apps you are installing. Don’t just do it because everyone else has it. Don’t just do it, because it’s cool. Your privacy is on the line and the information is so lightly regulated that once these companies collect your data, they can do almost anything with it.
The only way to ultimately control what happens with your information is to limit what you share!