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    Default Privacy on Android

    What ways do you protect your privacy on your device? I disabled Google Plus so there is no auto upload, and I am working on deleting all the various services and apps I tried out but didn't like. It's not that I'm paranoid, I just like to keep my number of services and sites and companies that have access to my info to a minimum. Bad enough Google shoves Google plus down everyone's throat all the time. But I have no choice with Google, they provide superior services.

    Posted Via VZW Moto X on the Android Central App
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  2. #2  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    What is so wrong with Google+?
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Overall if you are using a cellphone at all, and imo especially though Verizon network, you should forget about privacy. As for being connected to the internet, especially if you already have a Google account (but not necessarily), privacy out the window too, unless you use VPN and preventing all servers from logging your activity, that's not easy to do. I know this isn't what you meant in your discussion, but you did not specify either, I still consider it a major aspect of privacy.

    I don't think it matter which popular mobile OS you use, they all collect data in some form, or the apps you use. Google make money from ads and they do it by collecting your data, most of the time anonymously, if you use their mobile OS or services you'll just have to accept that fact. The answer to these simply is to not use the services.

    For the most part, you don't really have control over Google taking photo of your house with their driverless car, map it on their map, collecting WiFi info, aggregating your info that is already present from other public sources and make it searchable on their search service. You already mentioned google.com/dashboard, Google let you control what info are saved and shared.

    I guess you can protect yourself from virus and prevent certain apps from accessing certain data on your phone, mostly this is the only level where users have real control over. Mostly it come down to common sense and careful of what you're downloading and signing up to. Read the permissions of apps add read the developer explanation of it before downloading. Even then Google removed that in KitKat 4.4.2 by making App Ops inaccessible unless you have root. In term of virus and malware, Android is pretty secure and the PlayStore scan apps installed for them. My only concern is controlling permissions of apps, you can't really do much without root, I would argue that even Black Berry and iOS let users control permissions more than Android right now (without root). But a recent incident of a flashlight app that have mulltimillions of downloads collecting user location without their permission and settling with the FTC shows that users don't have that much control in Android as they think, if even apps with millions of download invade your privacy without you knowing (sure you say check the permissions, but it's hard for an average Joe to do that when it have 5stars and millions of download, by that standard the public will have a hard time). Atleast in iOS you can disallow location per apps. I think Google have some improvements to make. For an Android fan I think it's a little embarrassing.

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    Last edited by someguy01234; 12-24-2013 at 04:34 PM.
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  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Quote Originally Posted by thiscityishell View Post
    What is so wrong with Google+?
    I don't need another social network. I already closed my Facebook, and begrudgingly still have twitter and Instagram because of some old friends and use Twitter to enter some contests. One day though I'll close those two and that will be the end of me on social networks. I don't feel the need to share anything or see what others are doing daily.

    Posted Via VZW Moto X on the Android Central App
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  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Quote Originally Posted by someguy01234 View Post
    Overall if you are using a cellphone at all, and imo especially though Verizon network, you should forget about privacy. As for being connected to the internet, especially if you already have a Google account (but not necessarily), privacy out the window too, unless you use VPN and preventing all servers from logging your activity, that's not easy to do. I know this isn't what you meant in your discussion, but you did not specify either, I still consider it a major aspect of privacy.

    I don't think it matter which popular mobile OS you use, they all collect data in some form, or the apps you use. Google make money from ads and they do it by collecting your data, most of the time anonymously, if you use their mobile OS or services you'll just have to accept that fact. The answer to these simply is to not use the services.

    For the most part, you don't really have control over Google taking photo of your house with their driverless car, map it on their map, collecting WiFi info, aggregating your info that is already present from other public sources and make it searchable on their search service. You already mentioned google.com/dashboard, Google let you control what info are saved and shared.

    I guess you can protect yourself from virus and prevent certain apps from accessing certain data on your phone, mostly this is the only level where users have real control over. Mostly it come down to common sense and careful of what you're downloading and signing up to. Read the permissions of apps add read the developer explanation of it before downloading. Even then Google removed that in KitKat 4.4.2 by making Apps Op inaccessible unless you have root. In term of virus and malware, Android is pretty secure and the PlayStore scan apps installed for them. My only concern is controlling permissions of apps, you can't really do much without root, I would argue that even Black Berry and iOS let users control permissions more than Android right now (without root). But a recent incident of a flashlight app that have mulltimillions of downloads collecting user location without their permission and settling with the FTC shows that users don't have that much control in Android as they think, if even apps with millions of download invade your privacy without you knowing (sure you say check the permissions, but it's hard for an average Joe to do that when it have 5stars and millions of download, by that standard the public will have a hard time). Atleast in iOS you can disallow location peer apps. I think Google have some improvements to make. For an Android fan I think it's a little embarrassing.

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    What steps do you take personally?

    Posted Via VZW Moto X on the Android Central App
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  6. #6  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Google HAS been hacked. Supposedly not bigtime, but they remain a prime target and one can expect they will be hacked again. So like any "cloud" storage or third-party storage, you have to assume that any data you have with them may be stolen at some time in the future. (Which is not to say your own private computer or server can't be hacked as well.)

    The problem is that Google won't really discuss what data they are mining. They do read every email on the gmail system, supposedly just in order to target advertising to your interests. If you discuss any subject, you may find ads targeting it. And someone is building a profile of you, guessing at your hobbies, age, sex, car you drive, address...name it, it is being compiled. Since they admit to scanning email, one can assume they'd be fools if they didn't also mine data from GVoice. Did you call a good friend ten times last week? Maybe you share a hobby with them...maybe you'll see ads for it. The same way that Netflix recommends movies based on the movies you like, and what other people who like them also liked.

    And you never know what affinity will be assumed on you, or where that data may go to.

    Google may have the best of intentions but it can get creepy. Go online and order baseball tickets for a friend, and YOU are now marked as a baseball fan. OK, no problem. Now how about if you made reservations at a B&B and it turned out to be a favorite for the transgender crowd? Or the religious right? Ergh....do you want that confused with your "permanent record" ? What if your contact list includes a gardener or a plumber...and you didn't know they were associated with extremists? But now, YOU are associated with those same extremists, because your phone contacts or calls link into one of them.

    So it isn't entirely paranoid to want to drop off Google entirely, rather than giving them permanent and unrestricted access to whatever they imagine about you. Going back to an offline contact manager that doesn't use a public cloud and doesn't share your data with anyone else, might not be so crazy. Find some incredibly old person who survived the McCarthy trials in the 50's, and ask them how hard it can be to get UNassociated with someone. This is dangerous stuff.
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  7. #7  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    I disable any unused apps/services and highly minimize installed apps to only those absolutely needed. I also review app permissions prior to install and will move on to something else or just dump an app if I'm not comfortable with them. I also turn off auto-updating of apps so I can review any updates for changes to permissions and/or functionality.

    An example of Google apps I've disabled: Books, Magazines, Movies & TV, Music, +, Talkback/Hangouts, even Now/Search. I also don't use Chrome (stock Samsung browser instead) and don't sync bookmarks or history. I also disable location history in Maps and never share my location. I do use Google search in the web browser, but NEVER when I'm signed in with my account. The ONLY thing I sync to Google is my GMail, but even that is temporary as I pull it down to my local PC via Outlook and delete it off Google's systems. I also occasionally check my Google Dashboard to verify what info they have and remove anything I don't want there.

    A few other steps to help with privacy:

    1. Use AdAway (requires root) with the MVPS blocking hosts file that blocks most ad networks and their tracking stuff, as well as known malicious Internet sites.
    2. Don't use any social network stuff at all, no accounts on any of them. Family and friends who do have social network accounts respect my request to never post a picture of me on their own accounts.
    3. Never share my main e-mail address or phone number outside my close network of family/friends or critical accounts. I also use a secondary throw away type e-mail account for non-critical stuff and our home fax number if something needs a number.
    4. Don't use my real name for anything online except for things that absolutely need it.
    5. Don't use any type of cloud storage. I prefer to keep things under my direct control if at all possible.
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    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronDeVante View Post
    What steps do you take personally?

    Posted Via VZW Moto X on the Android Central App
    Pretty much the same what "Synycalwon" posted above, although I don't go to such length. I don't mind Google collecting some info, I still use Google now, I don't mind the idea of reading my email to remind of packages delivery and flight dates.

    I do use:
    - to disable any info sharing or web/location history.
    - to disable people finding my Google accounts base on my number
    -I don't use Google+ except a side account to post YouTube comment.

    Most of it really is not to protect myself from Google, but not let personal data being leaked out. I do like the idea of making YouTube videos so maybe in the future I'll sacrifice some privacy for that.

    On the phone side, I use App Ops, but not religiously lately because its implementation isn't as good as custom rom and I've been using stock. However, I do use it to disable location and contacts access for any apps I don't want. Adaway for adsblocking, and opt out of Google interest-based ads in Google Settings. I use Naked Browser, both on desktop and mobile I set my browser to delete cookies on exit.

    Google is smart though, even with adsblocking and such, there are still unique signatures (such browser user string and browser settings), IP address, tracking IDs and other patterns they can use to identify you.
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    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Quote Originally Posted by Synycalwon View Post
    I disable any unused apps/services and highly minimize installed apps to only those absolutely needed. I also review app permissions prior to install and will move on to something else or just dump an app if I'm not comfortable with them. I also turn off auto-updating of apps so I can review any updates for changes to permissions and/or functionality.

    An example of Google apps I've disabled: Books, Magazines, Movies & TV, Music, +, Talkback/Hangouts, even Now/Search. I also don't use Chrome (stock Samsung browser instead) and don't sync bookmarks or history. I also disable location history in Maps and never share my location. I do use Google search in the web browser, but NEVER when I'm signed in with my account. The ONLY thing I sync to Google is my GMail, but even that is temporary as I pull it down to my local PC via Outlook and delete it off Google's systems. I also occasionally check my Google Dashboard to verify what info they have and remove anything I don't want there.

    A few other steps to help with privacy:

    1. Use AdAway (requires root) with the MVPS blocking hosts file that blocks most ad networks and their tracking stuff, as well as known malicious Internet sites.
    2. Don't use any social network stuff at all, no accounts on any of them. Family and friends who do have social network accounts respect my request to never post a picture of me on their own accounts.
    3. Never share my main e-mail address or phone number outside my close network of family/friends or critical accounts. I also use a secondary throw away type e-mail account for non-critical stuff and our home fax number if something needs a number.
    4. Don't use my real name for anything online except for things that absolutely need it.
    5. Don't use any type of cloud storage. I prefer to keep things under my direct control if at all possible.
    I love all your ideas except I keep a skydrive backup of my most important stuff. I want to get rid of Dropbox though.

    Posted Via VZW Moto X on the Android Central App
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  10. Thread Author  Thread Author    #10  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Just deleted Dropbox, sent a request for deletion of CNET account, and deleted my 9gag account. I now am exclusively having accounts with mobile nations, the verge, Google and Microsoft and that's it.

    Posted Via VZW Moto X on the Android Central App
  11. #11  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    There's no point in trying so I just write notes to the NSA and Google on my phone and keep them on. They're full of four letter words and exclamation points!!!!!!!!!! :what:

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  12. #12  
    ahaxton's Avatar

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    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronDeVante View Post
    What ways do you protect your privacy on your device?
    Posted Via VZW Moto X on the Android Central App
    None whatsoever. I understand that the way that Google is able to provide Android for free to its partners and its services to me is by selling generic ad data about me to advertisers. Just as the cost of free television networks is advertising, and as it is with free web sites and advertising, so it is with Google.
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  13. #13  
    alexlam24's Avatar
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    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    If you're so worried about privacy, move to Finland. Doesn't matter what services you use, NSA is looking at it anyways.

    Sent from HTC Note Ultra Pro on T-Mobile
  14. #14  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Quote Originally Posted by alexlam24 View Post
    If you're so worried about privacy, move to Finland. Doesn't matter what services you use, NSA is looking at it anyways.
    To each their own how they wish to protect themselves. But personally, I'm not going to just throw my hands up in the air, say oh well and do nothing. I'm going to take appropriate measures that I feel help protect my privacy and security. It's only practical.

    I mean do you leave your house or car unlocked for anyone to gain access whenever they wish? Do you secure your Wi-Fi or leave it wide open for anyone to use? Do you leave your window shades open at night or close them to keep people from being able to easily see you? Do you speak openly in public around complete strangers about your private matters or are you discreet about them? Etc.
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    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Zero privacy in everyday life = even less privacy when on a phone or computer. What I do is never give up any important info to anyone or anything on my phone or computer. I also do not use my real name on anything. That is why I was totally surprised at how popular Google Wallet had become. I thought it was doomed from the start because I can't imagine having my credit card attached to anything Google. Same with banking apps. For me, totally crazy to do banking from my phone. Wouldn't dream of it. I know some (especially younger people) call it paranoia but I haven't been given any good reasons to be less paranoid. The privacy issue is one of the reasons brick and mortar banks and retail stores still exist.
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  16. #16  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Quote Originally Posted by Oofa View Post
    Zero privacy in everyday life = even less privacy when on a phone or computer. What I do is never give up any important info to anyone or anything on my phone or computer. I also do not use my real name on anything. That is why I was totally surprised at how popular Google Wallet had become. I thought it was doomed from the start because I can't imagine having my credit card attached to anything Google. Same with banking apps. For me, totally crazy to do banking from my phone. Wouldn't dream of it. I know some (especially younger people) call it paranoia but I haven't been given any good reasons to be less paranoid. The privacy issue is one of the reasons brick and mortar banks and retail stores still exist.
    Same here, in particular about not using my mobile devices for anything of sensitive nature, especially anything financial. I just don't fully trust them for that even though I highly limit installed apps and try to secure them as much as possible. In comparison with my computers, I installed the OS from scratch (with only options I chose) and know each and every application that is installed as well. It makes it very easy to know exactly what should be running at any given time and I can quickly spot anything out of the ordinary. I can also look at my outbound traffic via my hardware firewall to confirm the same. I know there are ways to do similar things on your mobile device if you have root access, which I do. But even so, I still don't fully trust them or have the same level of comfort that I do with my computers.
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  17. Thread Author  Thread Author    #17  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Quote Originally Posted by Oofa View Post
    Zero privacy in everyday life = even less privacy when on a phone or computer. What I do is never give up any important info to anyone or anything on my phone or computer. I also do not use my real name on anything. That is why I was totally surprised at how popular Google Wallet had become. I thought it was doomed from the start because I can't imagine having my credit card attached to anything Google. Same with banking apps. For me, totally crazy to do banking from my phone. Wouldn't dream of it. I know some (especially younger people) call it paranoia but I haven't been given any good reasons to be less paranoid. The privacy issue is one of the reasons brick and mortar banks and retail stores still exist.
    I feel where you are coming from. I only have a Google wallet because I wanted to pay for some games on Google play. I will disconnect it soon though.

    Posted Via VZW Moto X on the Android Central App
  18. #18  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Quote Originally Posted by Oofa View Post
    Zero privacy in everyday life = even less privacy when on a phone or computer. What I do is never give up any important info to anyone or anything on my phone or computer. I also do not use my real name on anything. That is why I was totally surprised at how popular Google Wallet had become. I thought it was doomed from the start because I can't imagine having my credit card attached to anything Google. Same with banking apps. For me, totally crazy to do banking from my phone. Wouldn't dream of it. I know some (especially younger people) call it paranoia but I haven't been given any good reasons to be less paranoid. The privacy issue is one of the reasons brick and mortar banks and retail stores still exist.
    But they still have ways to track what you buy with credit cards. And even with cash there are surveillance cams everywhere. Especially in shopping malls and commercial areas. That's a slightly different invasion of privacy than the data mining of course. I do throw up my hands because I have no expectation of privacy in the world anymore despite having "the right" to it.

    Sent from my LG870 via Tapatalk 2
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  19. #19  
    alexlam24's Avatar
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    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    I remember reading about Snowden giving a Christmas speech yesterday. He said the future generations will never know what privacy is because they will never have privacy. I really agree with it. With the current gen already addicted to tech(I am one of them, cloud based storage is my savior), the future (the elementary kids) won't know what talking on the phone with your girlfriend is because they can just record it with an app. Embarrassing text? Screenshot. I really feel bad because they won't have any privacy. I understand Google trying to improve our life and all, but the NSA is pretty much ruining it. My friend has a Note 3 and he really wants to use Google Wallet, but what if a guy hacks into government databases? All his data is stolen and life is over.

    Sent from my HTC Xperia S4
  20. Thread Author  Thread Author    #20  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Quote Originally Posted by alexlam24 View Post
    I remember reading about Snowden giving a Christmas speech yesterday. He said the future generations will never know what privacy is because they will never have privacy. I really agree with it. With the current gen already addicted to tech(I am one of them, cloud based storage is my savior), the future (the elementary kids) won't know what talking on the phone with your girlfriend is because they can just record it with an app. Embarrassing text? Screenshot. I really feel bad because they won't have any privacy. I understand Google trying to improve our life and all, but the NSA is pretty much ruining it. My friend has a Note 3 and he really wants to use Google Wallet, but what if a guy hacks into government databases? All his data is stolen and life is over.

    Sent from my HTC Xperia S4
    This is why for my at one should teach your children how to be kids and not let them throw their faces on the screen all the time. If kids are addicted to Facebook and the like it's the parents fault, I will be twenty next year and haven't been on Facebook in years. That social media crap is atrocious about how much kids are into it. We should calling texting and hanging out with friends face to face not iming and Facebook messaging, and tweeting, and Instagraming, and vining to contact each other. It's a mess.

    Posted Via VZW Moto X on the Android Central App
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    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronDeVante View Post
    This is why for my at one should teach your children how to be kids and not let them throw their faces on the screen all the time. If kids are addicted to Facebook and the like it's the parents fault, I will be twenty next year and haven't been on Facebook in years. That social media crap is atrocious about how much kids are into it. We should calling texting and hanging out with friends face to face not iming and Facebook messaging, and tweeting, and Instagraming, and vining to contact each other. It's a mess.

    Posted Via VZW Moto X on the Android Central App
    If you think about this, gas is not as cheap as it was 10 years ago. Just the thought of me visiting my gf (IF I HAD ONE!!!) Scares me because gas is expensive as crap. Insurance is also freaking expensive. Easier to spend $50 on tech to talk to anyone than $500 on gas and insurance.

    Sent from my HTC Xperia S4
  22. #22  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Quote Originally Posted by alexlam24 View Post
    If you think about this, gas is not as cheap as it was 10 years ago. Just the thought of me visiting my gf (IF I HAD ONE!!!) Scares me because gas is expensive as crap. Insurance is also freaking expensive. Easier to spend $50 on tech to talk to anyone than $500 on gas and insurance.

    Sent from my HTC Xperia S4
    I feel sorry for kids today. You're in a much more complicated world than when I was a kid. You do have cool tech toys, but as you say, the cost of living is prohibitive for most of the things normal for teens. And college costs an absolute fortune. When I was young, the cost of going to a state university was within most people's means. And we had jobs and earned our own pocket money, there wasn't the scarcity of jobs that exists today. And people didn't take minimum wage jobs with the expectation of supporting a family on it. Those jobs were almost exclusively held by teens. Not to be depressing, though, because I'm sure through young eyes the world still may look good.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk 2
  23. #23  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Quote Originally Posted by alexlam24 View Post
    If you think about this, gas is not as cheap as it was 10 years ago. Just the thought of me visiting my gf (IF I HAD ONE!!!) Scares me because gas is expensive as crap. Insurance is also freaking expensive. Easier to spend $50 on tech to talk to anyone than $500 on gas and insurance.

    Sent from my HTC Xperia S4
    And by the way, minimum wage was less than $2/hour when I was a kid, I don't think anyone had an expectation of being able to live on that. The fact that people think they should nowadays just goes to show how badly damaged the country is.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk 2
  24. #24  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    There are jobs, it's just that the jobs available require skills that most people don't have and can't go to school to attain.👀👀💩

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  25. #25  

    Default Re: Privacy on Android

    Quote Originally Posted by stackberry369 View Post
    There are jobs, it's just that the jobs available require skills that most people don't have and can't go to school to attain.👀👀💩

    Posted via Android Central App
    What would they be, the jobs I mean? 😺

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk 2
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