Businesses are thirsty for your data. You should make every effort not to give it to them since there is a risk that it will be stolen by thieves during a data breach or that it will be sold to the highest bidder.
Ways to Avoid Being Collected for Data
I wanted to know how to identify the applications that use the most data, so I consulted Caltrider. I’ve compiled her strategies into a list of things to do before installing any new programs, and you should follow that list.
This list may look like a lot of work, and that’s because it is! It shouldn’t be necessary for you to go to these lengths in order to prevent businesses from stealing your personal information for the purpose of selling it or utilizing it for their own gain. Companies that do not adequately state the data gathering techniques they engage in should be held accountable, and this might be done either by effective federal regulation or through independent oversight. Until then, here are some of Jen Caltrider’s suggestions for avoiding the data collecting activities of mobile applications:
- Before downloading any new apps, make sure you have read and understood the privacy details. Users of Android should go to the Google Play store, view the app’s page, and expand the section labeled “About this app.” To see an in-depth explanation of how the app gathers its users’ information, select the App Permissions option.
If you use iOS, you have the ability to look at the information that an app collects before it is installed on your device. Go down to the App Privacy section while browsing the app’s page in the App Store, and then touch on the sections that are labeled Data Connected to You and Data Not Linked to You.
- Be sure to check the permissions your installed apps have on your phone. Every month, check the app permissions on your phone to determine if any of the apps you have installed are collecting an excessive amount of data. Users of Android should access the permission manager on their own devices. Go to the menu labeled Settings, scroll down until you reach the section labeled Security and Privacy, tap the bar labeled Privacy, and after that, tap the link labeled Permission manager. You may get access to the app privacy reports on your iOS device by going to the Settings menu on your phone and selecting the Privacy & Security option.
- Remove any applications that aren’t being used on your device. “You purchased your home, right? Get rid of that real estate app. You’re on the hunt for the one true love of your life, right? You downloaded some dating apps, and you were successful in meeting them. Excellent, get rid of those apps. Caltrider instructed me to “Remove them off your phone as quickly as you can.” She went on to say that using the browser version of social media rather than an app delivers a similar experience but with increased privacy. This was one of the points she made.
- Check App Permissions. When you download a new app, it’s essential to check its permissions. The app may ask for permission to access your camera, microphone, or location. Some apps may even ask for permission to access your contacts or call history. Before granting permission, think about whether the app needs it to function correctly. If the app doesn’t need access to your location, for example, don’t grant permission. You can always change app permissions later by going to your device’s settings.
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is a useful tool that can help protect your data privacy. When you use a VPN, your internet traffic is encrypted and routed through a server in another location. This makes it more difficult for anyone to track your online activity.There are many VPNs available, both free and paid. Some popular options include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark. Before choosing a VPN, do your research to find one that meets your needs.
- Be Careful with Social Login. Many apps offer the option to sign in using your social media accounts, such as Facebook or Twitter. While this may be convenient, it also means the app has access to your social media profile and activity.Consider whether you want to grant the app this level of access. If you’re not comfortable with it, create a separate login for the app instead.
- Keep Your Apps Updated. App developers often release updates that address security vulnerabilities and bugs. Keeping your apps updated ensures that you have the latest security patches and improvements.To check for updates, go to your device’s app store and look for the Updates tab. You can also enable automatic updates for your apps in your device’s settings.
- Use Antivirus Software. Antivirus software can help protect your device from malware and other security threats. There are many antivirus options available, including McAfee, Norton, and Avast.Before installing antivirus software, do your research to find one that meets your needs. Some options may be better suited for mobile devices, while others may be better for computers.
Put a Stop to the Data Gathering Right Where It Begins
Keep this list in mind the next time you want to download an app from the App Store or Google Play, and give some thought to how much time it will take you to finish the app. Again, I don’t believe it should be essential to give up valuable personal data in order to access the majority of mobile applications; yet, this is the reality that we currently live in.
Put an end to the practice of data collection by tech companies by cutting off their access to relevant information. Delete those invasive apps from your device. You should either utilize the web-based versions of popular applications or you should not use them at all. You have the ability to make a difference, even if it is only a slight one. You, too, are entitled to the right to privacy; exercise part of that right.
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Viggo Petersen, a writer with a wide-ranging curiosity, who is always looking for new ways to explore the world and the human experience through my work. I believe that writing is not just about expressing oneself, but about exploring the world and the human experience in all its forms and complexities. I strive to create stories that are both entertaining and enlightening, that reveal the beauty and complexity of the world and the human experience. I believe that writing has the power to connect us with others, to bring us closer together, and to help us understand ourselves and the world around us.