Lookout gives out tips on how to protect yourself from 'leaky apps'

Lookout gives out tips on how to protect yourself from 'leaky apps'
Mobile security firm Lookout has sent us some tips on how those sporting an Android flavored device can protect themselves from those darn 'leaky apps'. In case you missed it, we passed along a story on Monday about Edward Snowden. According to documents turned over by Snowden, the NSA and Britain's GCHQ are using apps like Angry Birds, to gather information. Thanks to location and photo sharing, and other permissions, the Agencies are receiving such information as the age, gender, marital status and sexual orientation of some Android users. All of these bits of information are used to pull together profiles of targeted users. Angry Birds developer Rovio has already denied involvement in the information gathering, putting the blame on mobile ad networks.

As we said, Lookout has sent us some tips to follow that could protect you from having your information taken by the NSA or others.They suggest that if you don't want to share your personal data through the apps you install, turn off those features in the settings. The mobile security firm suggests that you limit app downloads to those found on the Google Play Store, Apple App Store and Amazon Appstore. Before you install an app, take a few minutes of extra time to read the reviews to make sure it is legitimate. Review the permissions that each app requests before you download and install it.


According to Lookout, 38% of Android apps can read location data and 50% of Android apps can find out the unique IMEI number of the phone it is installed on. Lastly, 15% of apps available for an Android smartphone can read the phone number of the handset it is installed on. Following Lookout's advice might be an easy way for you to stay under the radar.

source: Lookout

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9 Comments

1. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

And, for apps that don't require a network connection as part of the app functionality, put your phone in airplane mode.

2. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Once when looking for a voice recording app, I was astounded at the number of apps that required access to the contacts list. Unfortunately, I found this the hard way, for as soon as I installed one such app, for the first time I got spam at an address that I had never used but at one website. Now, if an app requires more than what I think it needs to, I just don't install it.

3. nothingmuch

Posts: 201; Member since: May 03, 2013

I use "APP OPS" by erickdkfz" from Google play to turn those pesky features off, it also lets you know when and what app did what, can be used for non rooted devices. Its very informative. (Hope the link worx!)https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.erickdkfz.appops

5. GeekMovement unregistered

I should take a look at that app.

8. potatosalad

Posts: 40; Member since: May 07, 2012

it needs 4.3 and up. :(

4. GeekMovement unregistered

I'm not sure that really helps after seeing the app that got tens of millions of downloads along with being produced by a top developer being used to gather information... almost seems like there's no avoiding it.

6. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Security on Android needs a lot of improvement but it helps none with the parent company, google, knows more about you than your own parents.

7. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Same goes for Apple's iOS. Need a hell lots of improvement too! And don't get caught with your pants down!

9. Ishmeet

Posts: 111; Member since: Sep 16, 2013

And to add to your blind info........Apple logs each of your keystroke, everything you speak to siri, every detail you enter in any of their services, every of your notes, reminders and icloud synced contents. In this digital age, there is quite less privacy. While many firms collect user data for purposes they need, many do it for shady reasons and give out false excuses. All one needs is the right amount of info about the services he is accustomed to using, and how of handle each each of them and use it for your advantage to make better use of digital content.

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