Questions tagged [privacy]

For questions related to enforcing you privacy on Android devices

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1answer
3k views

Restrict read access on certain folders

I am looking for a way to limit read access for certain folders, for privacy reasons. E.g. I want to have a folder that will be used for sensitive data. It shall only be accessed by a file manager ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

Huawei without Google Play: will I be forced to create a Huawei account?

I wish to buy a Huawei P30 Lite phone. It's a phone without the Google services and play. Can I use this phone without a Huawei account? Only use F-Droid apps?
0
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0answers
70 views

How to switch user profile based on password, lockscreen pattern, or pin?

Is there a way in todays' Android (9 and 10) devices to switch to different users based on the input password? Example: I input pin 1234 and UserB is unlocked/signed in on my phone. If I enter 4321 ...
0
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0answers
14 views

How to Log Everything an APP Does to the Internal Storage? [duplicate]

I would like to confirm whether it is one specific APP that has deleted some files in my internal storage. Is there a way to log an APP's every activity related to the storage, esp. when and what it ...
1
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2answers
1k views

Does Google have a record of my fingerprints from the Android devices?

My phone has a fingerprint scanner. I notice on the Google Play Store, it has the option to verify your identity with a fingerprint scan instead of typing in the password when making a purchase. Does ...
2
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1answer
863 views
1
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0answers
29 views

Are there any downsides to encrypting an Android device?

Besides requiring a lock screen, are there any downsides to encrypting an Android device (using the native encryption)? For example: is there a performance decrease? is there a temperature increase? ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Can I use an Android One device without a Google account? Isn't there a compulsion?

I wish to buy an Android One device and install only apps from F-Droid. I don't own a Google account and don't wish to register. I don't wish to install LinageOS or other alternative firmware. Is it ...
0
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0answers
8 views

What can malware on Android 10 actually do? [duplicate]

I was hoping to get an idea of how well modern versions of Android protect your phone using sandboxing. If you install an app and don't grant it any permissions what types of common malware activities ...
2
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2answers
3k 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 ...
1
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0answers
170 views

What are .xlog files and what can they be used for?

Im cleaning the storage on my S10+ and I noticed in the WeChat folder (Tencent) there are a bunch of .xlog files totalling nearly 3gb of space. I know the controversies of using WeChat but I rarely ...
1
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0answers
70 views

How could I prevent some smartphone's IMEI and/or ICCID leakage through getprop output?

Some Android smartphone would leak IMEI through getprop, you could test in Termux like this: # Tested on a Mi 5s Plus (Natrium) $ getprop | grep imei [persist.radio.imei]: [86REDACTED] [persist.radio....
3
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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
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1answer
1k views

Disable cookies for specific sites in Firefox

Firefox on my PC allows me top disable cookies for specific sites by clicking on the website's icon. When cookies are disabled generally, I can enable them the same way in the menu behind the icon. ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

When you lock down a Lollipop device to disable Chrome's incognito mode, this creates an XML “restrictions file”. What actual XML is inside the file?

Note: If this post is too long to read, please see the summary in the last paragraph. I own an aging Samsung Galaxy S Relay cellphone. It's running Android 4.1.2 and has a built-in physical keyboard. ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

Disabling the Google App

A while back, I disabled the Google App (com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox). IIRC, disabling the app caused some problems which I discovered over time. Unfortunately, all my notes on the topic ...
5
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
0
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0answers
79 views

Run applications Isolated, avoid embedded trackers

So i'm going to be using microg trying to avoid the million trackers hidden in applications on the play store and mainly use applications from Fdroid as they don't for the most part. I actually had a ...
0
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3answers
1k views

How to avoid leaking private data to apps without rooting my phone?

The majority of apps on the Play Store require access to things like location, contacts, call log, identity, SMS, etc., even when the app functionality clearly doesn't need this information to work. ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Private one-way automatic photo upload solution?

I'm looking for something to automatically upload/sync photos from my phone to my PC or server. Anybody knows of something that could fit my use case? ​ My requirements: upload only files older ...
0
votes
0answers
115 views

NetGuard vs DNS66 for Privacy

I have downloaded both of these apps from F-Droid but I am unsure which is the right for me, and what exactly both do differently from one another? I have heard lot's of great things about both of ...
10
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
401 views

Uninstall MirrorGo Keyboard

I installed the MirrorGo (Stream & Recorder) app from the playstore to try but uninstalled it over privacy concerns in my android 10. Everything looks fine but recently I discovered it still left ...
13
votes
6answers
34k views

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

If you thought that disabling incognito mode was enough to protect your children, you're probably mistaken. Let me explain. Dear readers: Disabling incognito mode may be completely insufficient. ...
3
votes
0answers
206 views

What are the privacy downsides to using Google's Gboard keyboard for Android?

For several reasons, I do what I can to avoid using Google products. But I do currently use the Android OS (at least for now). One thing I like about Android is being able to use any keyboard app ...
0
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0answers
286 views

How can I disable the official YouTube app's incognito mode?

Preface: A warning for parents If you want to protect your kids, disabling Incognito mode is usually not enough. If your kids are under age 13, it's wise to use a good filter to block the YouTube app ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

Skip “Sign in to Google” when setting up new Android device

I recently got a new Nvidia Shield TV. On the first start, after asked me to set up my language and connect to my wifi, it prompts me to "Sign in to Google." The only options on the screen are "use ...
0
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0answers
1k views

How can I setup a local SOCKS5 proxy that doesn't require Android VPN service?

I need a local SOCKS5 proxy server that doesn't use the Android VPN service. Why? Because I want to chain it with the no-root firewall NetGuard. NetGuard already uses the Android VPN service. ...
2
votes
0answers
73 views

Do Magisk modules pose a privacy risk? How to overcome?

Further to this excellent answer here by Irfan Latif How Magisk works? and considering that Magisk modules need not be open sourced (Are all Magisk Modules Open Source?), the question is Do they pose ...
1
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3answers
3k views

How can I block all incoming connections to my phone?

Ok, so maybe I'm just a lil paranoid lately, but I'm trying to block any - and ALL - connections to my phone. PERIOD. I have the paid version of Android Firewall. If I select Black list from the drop ...
0
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0answers
30 views

Do android developers get my email address or other info?

If an app only as permissions in the OTHER category can they get access to my email address/name? When you install an app from google play what information does google provide to the developer? Does ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Are there ways wherein an app would think it's operating on a different phone?

That means the device ID, and IMEI and every information the app would be able to gather would be what I've pre-set. It would, for all intents and purposes, be as if it's installed on a different ...
0
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0answers
68 views

Does Android store information about previous SIM cards?

Does Android store any info about previous SIM cards that have been inserted into the phone? Can the current mobile operator access this info? Can the current mobile operator get my GPS location ...
4
votes
2answers
27k views

How to hide my Google Play downloads from my friends?

I am new to android and just by going into Google Play I can see every app my friends downloaded. I am really feeling uncomfortable about this since I don't like to feel exposed. Does anyone knows ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Android Contacts: Keep two lists of contacts one of which is not detectable by messengers [duplicate]

Is there a way to keep my Android (6.0.1) phone contacts in two lists so that messengers such as Telegram and WhatsApp will not automatically detect some of my phone contacts and auto-add me to their ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Is it possible to perform an offline malware scan of device image created using a root prompt?

I have created an image of my entire device and all of its partitions (mmcblk0.img). I would like to perform an "offline" scan of my device on my computer. Is there any known projects or ways of ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Access chats from old deactivated phone number

My sim card with my old number has been deactivated. A new user uses my old number. Does the user have access to my old chats if he or she chooses Yes to back up old chats or storage?
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Why do App Locker apps need so many permissions? Am i safe?

I've been trying to password protect an app, and it seems that the permissions vary from app to app for App Lockers. Why do so many of them require full phone access? Is there any danger if i use a ...
0
votes
0answers
100 views

Are Android App Permissions Placebos (Android Pie)?

I'm looking at every app that has 'Microphone' permissions on my Android Pie Galaxy Note phone, accessed through: Settings > Apps > Hamburger Menu > App Permissions > Microphone Five ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Keeping passwords/credentials out of the cloud

Under what circumstances will a current Android sync or otherwise send passwords off the device? The credentials in question are for: WiFI Non-Gmail email accounts accessed through the stock Gmail ...
2
votes
2answers
70k views

How to hide my name in Whatsapp group?

I've provided a screenshot, clickable for full size, of a group I'm in. Some people are able to hide their names. How can I do it? I do not know some people in the group and I don't want them ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

Delete personal data from phone that can't sign in to Google

We have an old Galaxy that grandchildren use for play. No SIM card, but on wifi.  The Google account previously used is obsolete, so we can't sign in.  But without signing in, the "play store" won't ...
9
votes
1answer
51k views

What is Google Partner Setup?

What does the Google Partner Setup app that is pre-installed on almost every Android device actually do? Why does it need each of those intrusive permissions, especially the Phone permission? Why ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

Can a device be tracked if bluetooth is enabled but visibility disabled?

Is it possible to track a Bluetooth signal of Bluetooth enabled Android phone with disabled visiblity? I have heard of professional tracking devices, which are able to track/locate Bluetooth devices, ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

Hiding the content of the message while the phone is unlocked!

How can I hide the message content in this "drop down menu -- I don't know what's its name". It is hidden when the phone is locked I want to hide it when the phone is unlocked as well.
2
votes
0answers
352 views

Hide the PIN entry on stock lock screen

Is it possible to hide the visual feedback on the PIN entry on the Android stock lock screen? The feedback makes it pretty easy for anybody standing near to watch the PIN: I know that it is possible ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

How does an app (e.g. Whatsapp) automatically detect when the phone receives a 2FA SMS verification code without being granted SMS read permissions? [duplicate]

When installing some apps (for example Whatsapp) the user is required to receive a verification code on the phone via SMS. I have noticed that some apps automatically verify this code as soon as the ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
14k views

How can I use the name “A Google user” in my reviews at Google Play Store?

I have seen many recent reviews (2017) in Google Play Store with the name "A Google user" and I'd like to know how one can do that. I've read some possibilities, but they were written in 2012 and now ...

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