Apps stores have become quite popular in recent time thanks to the rise of smartphones and other mobile devices powered by Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating system. It has never been easier to install apps to a phone or tablet, and while that is a good thing for the consumer, it also gives the darker side of the Internet opportunities to exploit it.
Many apps require permissions to function properly. A map application might require location information, a web browser Internet access, and a chat application the right to make calls. It is however up to the individual user to decide whether a request for permissions is legit or out of control.
Some applications for instance are designed to create a profile of the user for marketing purposes, and that is harmless in comparison to outright malicious apps that send SMS to expensive numbers, spam contacts with messages, or install backdoors or trojans on the system.
That's why it is essential to look through the rights during an apps installation process to make sure it does not request rights that do not make sense. Why would a photo app want the right to make calls for instance?
If you have not verified app permissions in the past, you may want to try a program like G Data AntiVirus Free which, among other features, can display a list of all application permissions. An overview of the permissions are displayed on the permissions screen. Here you find the number of apps that have a specific permission. Note that this includes apps installed by the manufacturer, Google, and the phone owner.
A click on a permission displays a list of all applications that have that specific permission. Even better, you can uninstall apps right from the list.
G Data Antivirus Free offers more than just permissions, including antivirus protection and on-demand scans. Other features on the other hand are listed but not available in the free version.
Just uninstall the application if you only need the permissions' overview and management, or keep it running to add the antivirus protection to your Android device.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.