Nearly every app available for download requires you to create an account before you can use it. Even those that don’t, will force you to “agree” to a long list of terms of service. If you read those terms you’re likely to find something that indicates the app will be spying on you.

There are plenty of online privacy laws designed to protect users. But when you click “agree” without reading the terms, you’re probably giving up your right to be protected.

Apps Want Access to Your Personal Data

Even more nefarious are the apps that do require you to create an account, and make it necessary to connect a social media account. That is a red flag. If the app can use your Facebook account to complete your registration, then it has access to your personal information. They could be keeping it for their own use, but more likely, they are selling it to big data advertising companies who pay very well for user data.

If that’s not bad enough, creating these connections from apps to your social pages not only gives data miners the ability to buy your info- but it gives hackers a direct zip-line into your info. After all, why should the companies that buy access to your data, secure that access? They don’t.

We understand that some apps can be useful, some may even be necessary. But there is a way to protect yourself from their prying.

How To Check If Third-Party Apps Have Access To Your Social Media Accounts

There are several ways to do this depending on what type of device you use. We’re going to cover the Android mobile way to check permissions. It should be similar enough to help with other device types. Check here for more information on how to protect digital privacy from third-party apps.

Step 1: Find Settings

If you have a cog icon on your screen, tap it. Otherwise, search programs, or pull down from the upper right-hand corner. Once you find that cog symbol, tap it.

Step 2: Select “Apps & notifications”

You should see a list of options starting with “App info.” You want a “Permission manager.” It should be the fourth item down the list. Tap it.

Step 3: View Permissions

You should now see a list of permission types such as body sensors, call logs, location, contacts, and so on. Under each one, you should see something like “2 of 3 apps allowed.” That means three apps can access your data, but only two are permitted to. Then click the permission type you’re interested in and it will show you the apps that have access to it, and the ones that have been denied. If you want to remove permission from an app, tap it and select “allow” or deny.”

Master Online Reputation Management

Here at RPI, many people ask us, “What is online reputation management?” It’s all about ensuring people see what they should see about you online, and don’t see what they shouldn’t- and it’s the key to personal online security in the new 20s. Check us out to learn more.