ANDROID users are being warned to update their phone’s privacy settings after a new update could leave their devices vulnerable.
Google released the Android 12 operating system back in October and the company has added new privacy and security additions.
The new Android update has the ability to “hibernate” apps that haven’t been used for a long time and makes location data less precise.
When updating your phone, users should make sure to lock down their privacy settings as Google is known for targeted advertising based on personal data.
Much of the privacy information in Android 12 is based on permissions you give the apps on your device.
When installing apps, they’ll usually ask for access to your camera, photos, contacts, location, microphone, etc.
Some of these need permission for the apps to work but not all of them.
An AR app might need to access your camera to be usable but a calendar app doesn’t need permission for anything.
A new privacy dashboard is added in Android 12 to increase permissions transparency.
Using this, you can see which apps are doing what on your device.
The dashboard can be accessed by going to Settings, Privacy, and then opening Privacy Dashboard.
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It’s also important that users check their microphone and camera access.
While Facebook and other social media sites can’t actually eavesdrop on you, Android 12 could make it so camera and microphone access is turned off instantly.
This could give users peace of mind when using their devices.
You can also delete your advertising ID, which allows apps to link data to your device and build a profile of what you like. This is what advertisers use to send you ads.
By going to Settings, Privacy, and then Ads, you can select Delete advertising ID. You’ll still see ads on your phone but they will no longer be based on your behavior or personal data.
Most of the Androids privacy options will be in the Settings app on your device. You are able to toggle which permissions you want to allow on your device.
You can even limit the amount of information Google can collect from you by turning off your location history on the privacy menu.
The best way to protect your device, however, is to have a password manager to create unique logins for all your accounts and use two-factor authentication.