How to know if an app on your phone is selling your personal data?

Privacy stands as a critical concern in the digital realm, and regrettably, it’s not always guaranteed. The internet is rife with potential threats, including computer attacks, viruses, scams, and more, all of which can jeopardize your personal data. One prevalent issue is the presence of applications that may surreptitiously collect your information and subsequently sell it to third parties. In this article, we’ll outline how you can discern if an app is engaging in such practices.

But what exactly does this entail? Essentially, when you install an app, there’s a possibility that it may engage in some degree of surveillance. It can monitor your online activities, gather information you provide, and even discern your interests. This collected data can then be sold to various online services, leading to the bombardment of targeted advertising, among other potential consequences.

internet privacy

Checking for Data Sharing by Apps

To safeguard your privacy and take prompt action if an app is potentially sharing your data, there are several avenues you can explore. Staying vigilant and proactive in protecting your personal information is essential.

Review the Terms and Conditions

Start by thoroughly examining the terms and conditions of the application. In many cases, these documents may explicitly mention the app’s rights to share your data with third parties or other services. Although such information may not always be prominently displayed, a close examination of the terms is essential.

However, in some instances, malicious programs designed to steal and sell personal data won’t disclose their intentions in their terms and conditions.

Utilize Independent Projects

There are dedicated services designed to assess whether an app is engaged in data sharing. For example, consider Exodus, an auditing platform specifically created to search for Android applications. It can identify whether these apps incorporate trackers and assess how they might impact user privacy.

Another resource is Tosdr, a website dedicated to reading and analyzing app terms and conditions on your behalf. Essentially, it performs the task most users often skip when installing an app. You can discover any unusual or concerning clauses in the software’s terms there.

Examine Linked Apps or Services

Have you linked any other applications or services to the specific program in question? This could indicate that data exchange is occurring with other platforms. The legitimacy of such connections depends on whether they were disclosed in the terms when you installed the software and you agreed to them.

Exercise caution when linking social networks to unfamiliar programs, as they might be gathering information about you and potentially selling it to third parties.

Privacy issue when logging in with Facebook or Google

Read Internet Comments and Reports

While not a direct indicator of an app selling your data, internet searches can often yield valuable insights. Look for information related to the specific app and read what other users have experienced. This could include any problems encountered with the software or indications of dubious practices.

Additionally, you may come across third-party audits of applications on the internet. While not always available, they can provide valuable information. Websites offering reports and analytics can also help you assess whether a particular software poses security or privacy risks.

In conclusion, there are multiple ways to determine if an app is infringing on your privacy. Nevertheless, our advice is to always install software from official sources and ensure it does not compromise your security and privacy.