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Preventing Android Permission Creep

Android applications have to ask for the user’s permissions before they can be installed onto their device which is a security strategy that is used to ensure that android apps do not overreach into the operating system and the user’s information whenever they are running on their device.

The users of the android device will have to approve the permissions that are assigned to the applications they install on their device and this is something most users often ignore whenever they are installing new applications onto their devices.

The installation process is often overlooked and the user will not even bother to take a look at the permissions that the application they are installing can obtain from the operating system. On some occasions, the android app will reach out to more permission within the operating system and this will allow it to do things behind the scenes that are illegal and a security threat for the information that is on the user’s device.

The user of the device should therefore be keen on the permissions being assigned to new applications as they are being installed to ensure that they only take up as many permissions as they need to function properly and provide the user the functionalities that are required. The permissions are usually listed down and the user always has the freedom to choose which permissions to let the android application keep and which ones to overrule.

This is an important function and ensures that dangerous applications that are downloaded from the app stores and other suspicious sources do not modify the information on the device or start performing activities on behalf of the user without even informing them. The android permission creep can be avoided by being keen whenever installing new applications and looking at the list of permissions before proceeding to the actual installation of the application.

Several utilities are available from the application store which can be installed on the user’s device and used to sniff out unwanted and over-demanding permissions being requested by new applications. Some of the applications might demand access to the phonebook and the capability to send SMS only to use these permissions to spread messages using the user’s identity and this is known to be one of how hackers spread messages and malware on the android platform.

Android device users are advised to make sure that they look into the permissions that they are granting the applications being installed on their device to ensure they do not give too much permission to the applications as the applications might end up causing damage to their device or stealing their information.

An application that has internet permissions, for instance, and does not offer any internet-related functionality, could be using the permission to send files out to servers and stealing the private, confidential information of the android device owner. As such, be keen on all the permissions that a new application is requesting to ensure that the application is not reaching into the device more than it should be.