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Safer Phone Use: How to See and Customize App Permissions


Phone use can easily expose you to various threats and dangers. Hence, mobile security is something that manufacturers and developers highly prioritize. App permissions are one of the measures put in place for safer, more secure phone use. On top of that, there are several things you can do to keep mobile security threats at bay.

App Permissions – How Important is it to Safe Phone Use? 

App permissions are essentially the privileges granted to an app. In general, developers, at least the trusted ones, will only request permission for those needed for the app to function. Hence, granting app permissions is not, in itself, a mistake. However, since the typical app permissions requested cover functions that may have privacy implications, you’ll need to be careful in granting them.

Some of the app permissions you should keep a close eye on are those that may affect your privacy, your device’s operations, as well as the functionality of other apps. Here are the permission groups you should keep an eye on:

  • Contacts
  • GPS Location
  • Camera
  • Microphone
  • Storage
  • Body Sensors
  • Calendar
  • Calling Function
  • Texting Function

App Permissions – Check and Customize

Android and iOS devices both have tools and options that allow users to have control over which components and functions cell phone apps could access. You can also start by reviewing an app’s permissions before even downloading or installing them.

For iOS devices, you can see screenshots or previews, in-app events, ratings, and reviews, supported languages, Game Center and Family Sharing support, compatibility with other Apple devices, file size, and privacy information of the app prior to download. While it doesn’t exactly provide data on the app permissions that the app will require, you can review the app’s privacy practices via its product page.

For Android devices, Google has recently brought back the app permissions list. To check, simply do the following:

  • Open Google Play and select the app you want to install.
  • Scroll down and tap the arrow next to About this game.
  • Scroll down to the Game info menu.
  • Tap the See More option beside App permissions.
  • You can now go through the list of permissions and decide accordingly.

Customize Android App Permissions 

Customize access to specific permissions by doing the following:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps & notifications.
  3. Tap Permissions manager to open the Android permission controller app.
  4. Click on specific permission, such as location, from the app permissions list. You can now see all apps with access to that permission.
  5. To customize access, tap the app.
  6. Choose whether to allow or deny access to the app. Depending on the permission, you can also choose the level of access you wish to grant. For the location, for instance, you can choose from four options: Allow all the time, Allow only while using the app, Ask every time, and Don’t allow.

Customize permissions per app by doing the following:

  1. Open Settings then choose Apps & permissions.
  2. Select the app whose permissions you want to check.
  3. Tap Permissions.
  4. Tap on the specific permission you want to change.
  5. Choose the level of permission you want to grant. You can also choose to totally deny permission.
  • Customize iOS App Permissions 

See and change app permissions by doing the following:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Choose the Privacy & Security option.
  3. Tap on the category or permission you want to check.
  4. You can now turn on or off access for any app on the list.

You can also check how apps use the permissions you grant them by doing the following:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Choose Privacy & Security,
  3. Tap App Privacy Report. (You can also opt to turn off App Privacy Report and delete its data.)

How to Stay Safe While Using Your Device? 

From user best practices to the best security apps, here are different ways to stay safe while on your device.

  • Keep Your Device Locked

Keep your device locked at all times and choose the least amount of time on how long your phone can stay idle before locking.

  • Use Strong Passwords

Always use strong passwords (and different ones) for your device as well as on all online accounts you have. You can also use app locks for extra protection.

  • Keep Your Software Up-to-Date

Make sure to keep your software updated. This is to ensure being protected from new threats that might otherwise invade your device.

  • Be Careful When Downloading Anything

Stick to your official app stores when downloading apps. Check reviews and go through all app information as an extra precaution.

  • Make it a Habit to Log out of Your Accounts

Always log out of your accounts (social media, online banking, etc,) after using them. This will keep others from those accounts even if they get ahold of your device.

  • Take Advantage of the Security and Privacy Settings

Mobile devices have privacy and security measures in place. You can manage these from the settings and have some sort of control over who can access your device and/or information.

  • Install Safety and/or Monitoring Apps or Software

There are various types of software you can install for added security. You can use Android and iPhone monitoring apps and phone trackers to keep tabs on your device at all times. You can also use anti-virus software.


Safer phone use can be achieved in various ways. You can start by observing best phone use practices. Regularly check and take control over your privacy and security settings including regulating app permissions. You can also utilize free spy apps or mobile spyware for Android and iOS devices to keep better tabs on your device’s location and other activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

How secure is it to use my cell phone for internet browsing? 

You can use your cell phone for internet browsing more securely by only connecting to secure websites, considering using a VPN, using your mobile data which is usually encrypted, and more.

What is safer to use a cell phone or tablet? 

Both devices come with risks. It mostly depends on the security and privacy settings that are in place on the device.

Which is safer phone apps or internet use?

Phone apps are typically safer as they offer more personalization. However, certain apps are more vulnerable to threats. The same is true when it comes to websites.

Why is it important to set app permissions?

App permissions allow apps access to specific components and functions of your device. Hence, it’s important to take control over which permissions an app has to better protect your privacy and security.