How to protect your privacy when using your smartphone - WFSB 3 Connecticut

How to protect your privacy when using your smartphone

Posted: Updated:
Eyewitness News took a look at how you can protect your personal information when downloading new apps. (WFSB) Eyewitness News took a look at how you can protect your personal information when downloading new apps. (WFSB)
WEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Eyewitness News took a look at how you can protect your personal information when downloading new apps.

According to a study by Nielsen, Facebook and YouTube remain the top apps on smartphones. But when you download those apps or others, many may not realize what they’re giving up in exchange.

“Most of the time they ask for my information for access to Facebook. Access to my Instagram. Access to my microphone,” Mauricio Castillo, of West Hartford, said. “I just accept it.”   

The majority of apps require a user to agree to their terms and conditions. That means the app will have access to your personal data such as a person’s contacts, emails and pictures.

Many people told Eyewitness News they were confused by the agreements.

“I don’t get why they need to track my location,” Kathleen Graulich, of West Hartford, said.

“They all what to know as much as they can,” Quinnipiac University Professor Brian Kelly said. “They’re either going to sell that data to a third party or maybe they will share it. Sometimes that’s in those terms of services you’re kind of blindly accepting when you’re downloading the app.”

That has many smartphone users thinking twice before they download

“It’s a violation of my privacy,” Mauricio Castillo, of West Hartford, said.

According to Kelly, technically it’s not. That’s because you agreed to it.

“That would not surprise me at all because from what I have seen it happens a lot,” Graulich said.

Kelly said having your information out there, isn’t all bad.

“There is a way for this data to be used to improve our lives, but there is that risk of it painting a picture of where you’ve gone,” Kelly said.

The good news even for your favorite apps...there are ways to opt out.

If you have an iPhone, you can click on the privacy button and adjust what the apps have access too. For android users, it varies by your phone, so you’ll want to talk to your phone carrier.  

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.