We are becoming increasingly aware of the type of data that the apps we download collect and share with third-party advertisers. This is a huge leap from where we were years ago (in the dark, in fact) and it gives you more control over whether you give others access to your information and what they do with it. But you might still be wondering how to tell if an app is even collecting data about you. And the answer is actually simpler than you think. Tech expert Robert Lowry, the VP of Security at LegVerifiedshares with SHEFins.com how to see what your apps are up to – and what to do if you want to keep your privacy.
Ways you can tell if your apps are sharing your data
First, some good news: Apple products like the iPhone and iPad actually make it easy to see what data is being collected about you. “You can see this information for either apps you’re currently using or apps you’re considering downloading,” Lowry says. “This is a mandatory requirement from Apple for all apps.”
To see this information, Lowry says you need to go to the AppStore and search for the app. “Click the app icon for more information,” Lowry says. “If you scroll down, you can see what type of data your device collects and sends to the app makers. Under App Privacy, you can click ‘View Details’ to see more information.”
From there, with more information under your belt, you should be able to make a more informed decision about whether that app is worth keeping — or whether you should take steps to address how it accesses and shares your data. .
How can you minimize how apps use your data?
If there are apps that share your data and you don’t want them to anymore, Lowry says there are several steps you can take. “Certain data, such as your location, can be toggled on and off in your settings for different apps,” Lowry says. “Of course, this may mean that certain features are not available, but not every app needs your location to perform its tasks. Another piece of data that you can prevent apps from being collected in your settings is ad tracking. Another solution to prevent apps from collecting data is to uninstall the app from all your devices. This may not work retroactively and they may still be able to access data they’ve already collected, but it’s a good way to prevent this from happening in the future.”
The reality is that many apps, especially free ones, collect your data and use it for profit. But you have options. Whether you choose to uninstall the app or change your settings so that an app has less access to you, there are steps you can take to maintain your privacy and security.