Singlesource IT has been an integral partner in managing and implementing our technology needs. They not only provide exceptional service and responsiveness, they anticipate and prepare to help in guiding the direction of growth in our company. By assisting in making us more efficient and economical they ultimately help make us more profitable.”

Meyers + Associates Architecture, LLC.

Christopher Meyers, Principal Architect

 

 

Main | Meltdown & Spectre: What You Need To Know »
Thursday
Mar292018

Facebook's Spying on Your Android - Fight Back!

Facebook has been feeling the squeeze these days. Stocks are down, scrutiny is up. Why? Because Facebook’s dark art of personal data gathering has been coming to light.

When you sign up for a social medial platform, or download any “free” app, you strike a bargain with the developers: I’ll let you spy on me if I can use your service. This can range from the boring stuff – using your location to serve up local advertisements – to the downright creepy. Facebook sees everything you click, everything you like.  That's how they get to know you so well... and have gotten so good at selling you to their advertisers.  

While much of this is expected, sometimes news comes out that takes everyone by surprise, like this: Facebook’s Android app has been logging your calls and text messages. They don’t know what you’ve said or why you said it, but they do know exactly who you’ve been calling and texting, how often, and for how long.

Do you really want them to know all of that? No! So let’s take a minute and get that turned off.

  • Start by opening your “Settings” app, and then tapping the option “Apps”.
  • Tap on “App Manager” and find the App that you’d like to investigate, such as Facebook. 
  • Scroll down to the option for “Permissions”, tap and review.
  • Turn off anything unnecessary! For Facebook, this would include the options for “Phone” and “SMS”

Some apps need access to certain things of course. Snapchat wouldn’t be much fun if it couldn’t find your camera. But it’s a good rule of thumb to double-check any new app and dial back anything that looks superfluous or suspicious. 

As it’s been said, “If you’re getting the service for free, you’re the product.”  Keep using social media, but think it through when you do. Take a minute to check your settings, read up on the terms of service. And before installing an app, ask yourself: Do I really need that? If you’re not sure, just say no, and enjoy a little extra privacy.