Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Android app sometimes legitimately need services from your phone. But it's always good to use some caution in giving out permissions.
I have a question about Android app permissions. Lately I've noticed a lot of apps want strange permissions. Lookout wants to be able to take photos at any time without my permission. Others want to make phone calls or read my contact list. I realize a bar code reader needs to control my camera but am I being right in being concerned with some of these permission requests?
In this excerpt from Answercast #99 I take a look at smartphone applications that ask for a lot of permissions. It would be wise to be cautious.
In my opinion, yes. It really depends on which apps you're installing as to what permissions they actually need.
That's probably the most important thing you can do. Before installing an app, understand what it's supposed to do. If you've got an application that has absolutely no documented reason where it might want to use the camera, giving it permission to use the camera clearly doesn't make sense.
Now it doesn't necessarily mean that the application is malicious. But that would be one sign of an application that's trying to do more than is advertised.
So, the best thing I can suggest you do is always install what I would consider to be highly rated, very reputable applications. Take a few minutes to actually understand what the application is attempting to do for you before you give it permissions to do just about everything.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
Next from Answercast 99- What does it mean when "traces" are left behind from malware removal?
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