Is your favorite app selling your personal information?

Do you know what apps do with your data? You might think that downloading an app is a harmless way to get some useful features on your phone, but you might be putting your privacy at risk.

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Many apps collect and sell your personal information to third parties without your consent or knowledge. That's exactly what worries Gabe in Orlando, Florida. Here is the question he has for us.

“How do you define and prevent apps from receiving and selling your information?”

– Gabby, Orlando, Florida

Given the increasing incidence of invasive data practices, this is a valid question. Gabe, some apps may use your information to improve their services, provide personalized features, or comply with legal obligations.

Meanwhile, other apps may want to sell your personal information to advertisers in exchange for money. This seems like an invasive action and I know I really don't want my information being sold for someone else's benefit.

The woman is using the phone

The woman is holding the phone ( )

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How we protect your personal information

Check app permissions

When you download the app, you'll probably get a few pop-up messages asking for permission to access certain features on your phone. This may include allowing access to your location, photos, microphone, and more.

While some apps require permission for these things to function properly (ie the Uber app asks for your location so a driver can find you), other apps don't need access to all the details of your personal information.

You should grant only those permissions that are necessary for the app to function properly and that you are comfortable with. You should also review permissions periodically and revoke any you no longer need or trust.

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Read the privacy policy

Every app comes with a lengthy privacy policy upon download that most people avoid reading because it just sounds like crap. However, you should take the extra time to read it because it contains app terms that will affect you and how your information is used.

If no privacy policy is listed, avoid downloading the app. You want an app that is clear and open about what information it requests from you and how it will be used.

Download only what you really need

You should always be selective about the apps you download and think, is this app something I need and will use often? Make sure all apps you download come from a legitimate source, such as the Apple Store or Google Play Store.

Also, before downloading or using an app, do your research on its reputation, ratings, reviews, and data practices.

Any apps that come from third-party or unknown sources should be avoided at all costs, as these are apps that share your information or contain malware.

MORE: Are these revealing photos of your home here without permission?

Limit your exposure

Uninstall any apps you don't use or find suspicious. You can also limit the amount of information shared with apps, such as your name, email, phone number, social media accounts, etc.

Create alias email addresses

Sometimes it's best to create an email alias when signing up for new apps to protect your personal email from spam, phishing or unwanted messages.

or Email Nickname Is there another name or address you can use for email? To send and receive mail without revealing your real email account.

It also helps keep your inbox organized and safe, and you can easily delete or change a nickname if you no longer need it or if it's broken.

He looks at the phone

The woman is looking at the phone ( )

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Update your settings and software

should regularly Update your device settings and software to ensure they are safe and up-to-date. You should also review your app's settings and permissions periodically and adjust them according to your preferences and needs. You should turn off any features or options that you do not use or find offensive, such as location services, notifications, background data, etc.

To learn more about updating your email security, go here CyberGuy.com/Mail

Use a VPN

Let's consider using a VPN To prevent prying eyes from tracking you and identifying your potential location on the websites you visit. Depending on their privacy settings, many sites can read your IP address and may display the city you're from. A VPN disguises your IP address to show an alternate location.

For the best VPN software, check out my expert review of the best VPNs for private web browsing Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices by visiting CyberGuy.com/VPN.

Have strong passwords

Using the same password on multiple platforms will always make you more vulnerable because if one account is hacked, they're all hacked. Make sure you use a password manager Keep track of all your passwords instead of relying on one password that could be exposed if stolen.

Use 2-factor authentication

implements 2-factor authentication It's just an extra shield to prevent a hacker from getting into your accounts.

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Have a good antivirus program on all your devices

having Antivirus program on your devices to make sure you don't click on any potentially malicious links that might install malware on your devices, allowing hackers to access your personal information.

Check out my expert review of the best antivirus protection for your Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices CyberGuy.com/LockUpYourTech

Kurt's key

Protecting your information from apps that might sell it is critical in today's digital landscape. By following a few basic steps, you can protect your privacy.

Start by carefully checking the app's permissions and granting access to only the features you need. Take the time to read the app's privacy policy and make sure it meets your expectations.

Be selective when downloading apps from reputable sources and consider using them Antivirus protection For added security.

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Additionally, using strong and unique passwords, limiting information shared online, reviewing app settings, and using a VPN can further strengthen your privacy.

By taking these actions, you can control your personal information and minimize the risk of it being sold or misused by apps.

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