Popular apps: To trust or not to trust?

Privacy on internet is a trending topic in our times. But not all people are aware of the fact that their intimate details are so exposed by the apps they’ve so easily downloaded on their mobile devices. Many of these apps are so popular, nobody’s asking themselves if it’s really ok to give them all those permissions.

Once granted, these permissions can destroy our privacy as well as increase our vulnerability to malware. But is it possible to easily to review these risks without individually analyzing each app?

Find out more about your apps

Yes indeed. The beta version of the Avira Privacy Advisor feature in Avira Free Antivirus for Android does just that. It analyses the risk factor for each app on your smartphone and ranks them as high, medium, or low risk apps. Also, you can select if an application can be trusted or not, despite these risks, based on the number of downloads and on the release company’s reputation.

Here is Privacy Advisor’s review of the privacy risks from five extremely popular smartphone apps.

LinkedIn

– Detect your exact location (through GPS or mobile networks).
– It can affect battery by controlling the vibration function or entering stand-by mode.
– It can read calendar events and confidential information, including those messages from your friends and colleagues. The app can save the data, no matter if they are confidential or sensitive.
– It can read or modify the SD card content.
– It can create accounts or delete existing ones and also find other accounts from other apps you have installed.
– It can activate or deactivate syncing.
– It can have full access to a network and send your data on the internet without permission.
– It can read the smartphone agenda and other data about you including the frequency of your calls, mails and communication with other persons. Malware can redirect these contacts without your knowledge.
– It can also modify your agenda and delete contacts data.

Instagram

– Make audio recordings by using the microphone, anytime, without your confirmation.
– Detect your exact location (through GPS or mobile networks).
– Can affect the battery.
– Read the contacts information and can send it to other users.
– Read or modify the SD card content.
– Use the video or photo camera anytime, without confirmation.
– Read the smartphone agenda, data about you including the frequency of your calls, mails and communication with other persons. Malware can redirect these contacts without your knowledge.

Skype

– Can read the smartphone agenda, data about you including the frequency of your calls, mails or other communication. Malware can redirect these contacts without your knowledge.
– It allows the app to dial phone numbers without your specific request. This may cause additional costs following a malware infection.
– The app can make audio recordings anytime, without confirmation.
– The app can also make photos and videos using the camera, without confirmation.
– Read SMS and MMS messages and also delete them without showing them to your.
– It can read and modify the agenda.

WhatsApp

– Read the smartphone agenda and data including the frequency of your calls, mails and other communication. Malware can redirect these contacts without your knowledge.
– The app can do audio recordings by using the microphone, anytime, without confirmation.
– The app can also make photos and videos with the camera, without confirmation.
– Read SMS and MMS messages and delete them without showing them to the user.
– It can read and modify the agenda.

Shazam

– Make audio recordings by using the microphone, anytime, without confirmation.
– It can also make photos and videos using the camera, without confirmation.

Well how exposed can you get?

Just five popular apps and it is very clear: You are really exposed. It makes you wonder about those other apps on the smartphone — and if the permissions you have granted them are really connected to their functionality. Or you can simply uninstall them. It’s your choice and it’s your privacy.

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