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Questions tagged [privacy]

For questions related to enforcing you privacy on Android devices

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88
votes
5answers
64k views

Why do so many applications require permission to read the phone state and identity?

Why do so many applications require permission to read the phone state and identity?. Specifically: Phone calls read phone state and identity For example Quickpedia is a Wikipedia portal, but ...
59
votes
14answers
28k views

Are there any tools to sandbox a malware application even more than the granted permissions on Android?

Suppose I want to run some program which requests too many permissions. For example, record from the microphone or read IMEI of my phone. However, there are no practical explanation why recording from ...
42
votes
2answers
42k views

What information does stock Android send to Google by default, and how do I opt-out?

I'm about to buy my first Android phone. My understanding is that, in order to download apps and get updates from Google Play, I need to be permanently signed into a Google account that's linked to my ...
2
votes
1answer
425 views

How to make a complete factory reset, without anyone being able to retrieve my data?

I will have a few Android phones that I will have to let go. I would like to make a proper clean wipe of the data, without no one being able to retrieve them, and do a factory reset. I have read ...
45
votes
7answers
12k views

Support for Multiple Users on same device

Is there such a thing as a "current user" on Android and a way to switch it? I'm interested in getting a Motorola Xoom and would like to share it with my wife when at home. For my Windows laptop we ...
12
votes
5answers
32k views

On Android, how to disable Google Chrome's incognito mode

Google Chrome for Android includes a feature called incognito mode. This feature, when I activate it, is designed to help prevent Chrome from automatically remembering and storing information about ...
23
votes
6answers
1k views

I have sold my phone on eBay. What should I do before I send it off?

I have an Android phone which I just sold on eBay. What measures should I take before posting it off to its new home? Please answer thoroughly!
20
votes
3answers
1k views

When selling your phone, what steps should be taken to make sure that all personal data has been removed?

I am getting rid of my Samsung Galaxy S4 and want to know what steps I should take to make sure that private information has been deleted from the phone. I have removed the SD card and cleared all of ...
24
votes
2answers
4k views

What Android sync'd data is encrypted?

With the release of the firesheep plug-in for firefox it has become trivial for website browsing on open Wi-Fi networks to be hijacked by 3rd party listeners. Android offers the convenient auto-sync ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a list that explains the risks involved with each granted application permission type?

Usually an installed android app will request permissions such as Phone calls read phone state and identity or System tools prevent phone from sleeping But the actual consequences from a ...
9
votes
7answers
15k views

How do you encrypt your device running CyanogenMod 12.1?

CyanogenMod 12 and 12.1 'Encrypt phone' setting is broken, and has been for quite a while. Is there any way to encrypt the phone in some other fashion? Can CM be sideloaded onto a phone with an ...
13
votes
2answers
755 views

How do I prep my rooted and moded phone for resale?

I have a rooted MyTouch 3G (HTC Magic) that I want to sell to help defray the cost of my new phone. I have been running CyanogenMod on the phone. My problem lies in the fact that I don't really want ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

Audit app permissions easily in one place?

Is there anyway to list all the applications installed on your phone and the permissions they require all on one page, or export the list so it can easily be audited?
18
votes
2answers
7k views

How do I set up OpenVPN on CyanogenMod 7?

I want to route all my network traffic through my home's ISP connection when I'm out in Internet cafes so I can't be eavesdropped/firesheeped. I have an HTC G2 with CyanogenMod 7, which has OpenVPN ...
13
votes
2answers
14k views

Can the RECEIVE_SMS permission be used to intercept SMS messages?

I've noticed quite a few apps requesting the RECEIVE_SMS permission. Two things are clear to me here: RECEIVE_SMS enables an app to "snap" incoming SMS READ_SMS just applies to SMS already stored As ...
8
votes
2answers
10k views

How to sync contacts and calendar with Linux system, without using Gmail?

How can I sync my contacts and calendar with a Linux system? I'd prefer to sync with my desktop, but setting up a server on the internet would also be possible. I want to avoid Google mail for ...
8
votes
1answer
8k views

Captive Portal parameters

There are several captive portal parameters one could apply to an Android device via settings put global – the most famous probably being settings put global captive_portal_detection_enabled 0 to ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

Is there an Android calendar with limited security permissions?

I've just bought an entry-level Samsung Europa, running version 2.2. I'm technically-minded but new to this OS. I'd like to find a calendar that runs in limited security permissions, so that my ...
11
votes
4answers
98k views

How to block all phone calls, but only allow SMS and networking?

It's kinda disturbing when people keep calling me during work or meetings, but to me it's okay if I receive short messages or Whatsapp message because I can reply them few minutes later in a short ...
10
votes
4answers
864 views

What's the most complete way to erase all the data from my phone so it cannot be recovered?

I just got my replacement Droid and will be sending my current Droid back to Motorola. I'm sure they are going to refurbish it and resell it. I've backed up everything and I'm going to be keeping my ...
6
votes
3answers
882 views

Does TrueCalller App leak your phonebook?

Sometimes, I cannot find new contacts that I add to Truecaller phonebook, but sometimes, I think if it shares/leaks my contacts to public. It shows other people contact details that I never added ...
4
votes
2answers
92 views

Dangers of ad modules in apps

Nowadays, I see apps containing up to 10 ad modules (maybe even more). While most of them might just be an annoyance, some of them carry a privacy risk, like inMobi ¹ or RevMob ² (for some background, ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Permission system changes with Android 6.0: What are the implications for us users?

With Android 6.0, a bunch of permissions and permission groups have been removed: Groups gone While on a first glance this doesn't seem important (isn't it rather a way to organize permissions?) – ...
3
votes
2answers
669 views

Is there an application / ROM that allows me to set the phone to “Guest” mode which I can configure?

I would like to be able to set my phone into Guest mode so people using it will not be able to "abuse" it while I give it to them. Example of usage: Child mode - prevent editing settings, making ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Application for remote-wiping a lost phone without handing access to my data to a third-party?

Or having to pay a subscription? I have an idea for a hypothetical Android app. Tell me if such a thing already exists. You install a server in a machine you have total control of, and is (...
8
votes
3answers
26k views

How can I automatically clear my browsing data when I exit Chrome?

I don't like having my searches and web history hanging around forever. Therefore, I wonder: Is it possible to automatically clear browsing data on exit in Google Chrome? If it cannot be done with ...
3
votes
3answers
11k views

How to do Factory Reset

I know the topic has been covered here. But this is something different. I got a Tablet in my workplace to work with. It has a primary email Id for which I don't know the password. So to remove this, ...
1
vote
1answer
758 views

Looking for a network monitor that can enumerate outbound connections

I have a rooted Galaxy S2, and I want to block access for all apps whose primary function does not require network connectivity. I am using DroidWall and LBE Privacy Guard (both require root) to ...
3
votes
1answer
622 views

Privacy/Security concers for setting up business email using Gmail app on Nexus devices

I need to set up my business email*(non gmail email)* on the mobile devices (Nexus 5 and Nexus7). The business has its own private mail server. The way I can do it is by using Gmail app on these ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Why network activity is detected from apps after VPN firewall blocks them?

A few non-rooted (no rooted) Android 7 and 8 phones from (Huawei, ZTE, Neffos and Samsung) were tested in this simple firewall (NetGuard) experiment. A selection of apps (including apps from the phone ...
1
vote
1answer
196 views

How to share VPN connection with devices on hotspot?

I use a VPN on my Galaxy S8+ and I am looking for a way to be able to share my ExpressVPN connection via hotspot to be able to connect devices such as Xbox One and a Smart TV. Currently cannot use a ...
18
votes
4answers
19k views

How to use GPS without using Google Location Services

Because I do not want to consent to the Google Location Services privacy agreement I have this switched off. By doing so I know some location functionality like cell-based and wifi-based location will ...
7
votes
1answer
10k views

What really happens during a factory reset? Does it securely erase all data?

When you "factory reset" an android phone, are you formatting the phone storage by securely erasing all data and writing over them with zeroes, or are you simply deleting the files by hiding them from ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

How does an app reads an OTP SMS without SMS permission?

I have recently installed an Android app from the Play Store. While registering in it, I realized that it was able to read my message of OTP without even asking for my permission to read the message. ...
25
votes
4answers
227k views

How to retrieve saved password in Google Chrome for Android?

Is there any way I can retrieve stored password specific to any URL in Google Chrome for Android. This is not in any way connected with Google Chrome running in Desktop versions. I'm able to see saved ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

What permissions are granted to an app with device administration privileges?

Does a Device Administrator application have any/all permissions such as contacts, storage, etc.. ? It's not clear from developer.android.com device-admin whether or not these admin rights also imply ...
9
votes
1answer
851 views

What lurks behind these Gmail/GTalk permissions?

I just stumbled upon some permissions which sound clear at first sight (noticed them already quite a while ago, just decided to dig deeper right now). Thinking about possible implications, I'd really ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

WhatsApp: How to isolate contacts and photos - Privacy concerns

Whatsapp is ubiquitous and is commonly used despite the long scary list of permissions it seeks ( see Help understanding Whatsapp's permissions ) Privacy and security conscious people would like ...
7
votes
1answer
35k views

Read phone state and identity

I've looked at many (not all) of the dozens of links here. Is there a list that explains the risks involved with each granted application permission type? Most of these are not worth the time to ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

How to prevent Google aggressively associating my account to my searches?

I understand they can access my searches when I'm logged in, and of course know the search terms I use, but how can I prevent them to logging searches to my account when: I'm not logged in and in ...
3
votes
1answer
910 views

Which Android version/phone can control per-app access permission?

The only reason I am still using an iPhone is due to the fact that most Android phones did not allow control of per-app access permission. The App Ops feature was once there but pulled. I know some ...
3
votes
1answer
459 views

How to disable hidden trackers, in google play store applications

So most applications, on google play have hidden trackers, analytics they don't tell you about. This site lets you search any app shows trackers. The article explains what i'm talking about. Example: ...
1
vote
2answers
8k views

How to use Adblock AND a VPN

I'm using Private Internet Access's VPN via its App and now I'd also like to additionally use Adblock Plus. The problem however is that I apparently can only use either VPN or Adblock Plus - but not ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Is there a way to use Google location service without tracking my positions constantly in background?

I want to use Google location service based on wifi or cell tower data without gathering and sending my (later anonymized) positions to Google in background when I do not explicitly make the requests. ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

How to use multiple google accounts, but allow only one to locate my phone in device manager

I am using multiple google accounts, both private and company accounts. I want to see all calendars in my Calendar app. Events in all calendars. Same with Gmail. I want to be logged in and be able to ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Is there a way to block permissions for other applications on Jelly Bean?

I use LBE Privacy Guard with great pleasure to grant and withdraw permissions to access my contacts, the internet, etc. for each individual application installed in Ice-Cream Sandwich on my Galaxy ...
4
votes
0answers
2k views

Using the GPS instead of Google Location Services in Chrome

I do not consent to Google collecting constant background information about my position at all times through their Google Location Service program. So I have got that option disabled. I can get just ...
4
votes
0answers
543 views

Privacy level with an anonymous account? [duplicate]

I am interested in the currently achievable levels of privacy on an Android device. As far as I understand it, the best one can do is not to activate a Google account. However, even then significant ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

How to use a firewall AND a VPN?

I'm using the only open source firewall for Android: NetGuard and would like to use a VPN in addition. Is this possible? If so: how? Both types of apps typically use virtual VPN tunnels. NetGuard has ...
0
votes
2answers
681 views

How to prevent Google from “synchronizing” my personal data after a factory-reset, adding a new Google account or software updates?

It seems that after a factory-reset, whenever a new Google account is enabled on a device and potentially after some software updates sync will be enabled again even if it was turned off in the ...