Clueful scans your Android phone for privacy risks

Martin Brinkmann
May 22, 2013
Apps, Google Android

Most Android apps require permissions to work properly. If an app wants to send SMS, look up the your current location or write to the system, it needs to request the proper permissions to do just that. These permissions are displayed to you when you install the app on your device.

It is likely that most users simply skim over the permissions listing or hit the install button right away without ever looking at it, just like many ignore what is being displayed to them during software installations on Windows.

The issue here is that apps may request permissions that they do not use for their core functionality, or that they use permissions in a way that may invade your privacy or worse.

Clueful, a new application created by security specialist Bitdefender, scans all apps on an Android device it is running on for privacy risks. It divides apps into high, moderate and low security apps and displays a score to you based on that.

The app is not the first to do that. We have reviewed G Data's Antivirus Free and Lookout's Ad Network Detector in the past which offer similar features.

You can tap on a risk level to take a closer look at apps filed into it or display all apps in a list instead. This list view displays each app with its score, and permissions that may be a privacy risk. You can tap on any app here to display all high, moderate or low risk permissions identified by Clueful.

What may be interesting is the option to uninstall apps right away from that screen which can save you some time getting rid of apps that you do not want to use any longer.

privacy risk apps

You may sometimes run into app identification issues as you only find an apps' name listed by the application and nothing else. While it should not be problematic to identify Firefox, Messenger or WordPress, you may have problems identifying what SC, Arcus or Elixir are doing if you are not working with the apps regularly.

You can tap on the filter icon in the lower right corner of the screen to display app group listings. Clueful sorts apps into groups such as "can cost you money", "send your private data to strangers" or "track your location" so that you can go through the list this way as well based on what you deem the most problematic permission.


Clueful rates apps based on the permissions they request. It is still up to you to go through the listing to determine whether those permissions may be abused by the app, or if they are required for its service.

The grouped listing of apps is probably the most useful feature of the app as it puts the finger right into the wound as it sorts apps into categories that are easily understood. The app listings page may state that an app has phone call permissions, whereas the group listing page lists it as an app that can cost you money.


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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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