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How to check which apps have access to your online profiles

androidpit privacy
© Maksim Kabakou/Shutterstock

Security is a huge topic of concern these days and sometimes I feel it’s too little, too late. We (and me especially) should have worried about this ages ago. With the release of the super secure and impenetrable Blackphone, it’s evident that this trend isn’t just catching on, it’s also proving to be quite profitable. Today we are going to show you how you can tell which of your apps have access to your online profiles, like Facebook, Twitter etc and how to revoke it.

androidpit privacy
 © Security concept / Shutterstock

There are many apps that fulfill this purpose, but a good one is called Online Privacy Shield by MyPermissions, which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. This app will be able to conduct a search and scan for the apps that have access to online profiles, whether they are or were on your smartphone or tablet. The online profiles that it searches for are Facebook, Twitter, Google account, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Instagram and Flickr. If you need them to add another, you are able to suggest a service you would like to have checked.

androidpit mypermissions 1
You are able to log into your accounts and then scan to see which apps have access to your online profiles. © NextPit

It will scan to see which apps have access to personal data, filter them based on permission types, clear the app permissions and let you know if an app has suddenly gained private info, confirm your authorization or else revoke rights on the spot.

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62 apps had my Facebook profile information! Some of them I didn't even have on my phone anymore. You can revoke the rights, trust them or report if you feel they have done something wrong.  © NextPit

Online Privacy Shield also practices what it preaches: it won’t collect any of your data. When you log into your account to launch the scanning process, it states it loud and clear that you are currently logging into that service outside of the MyPermissions and that none of your personal data is retained.

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Once you revoke an app, Online Privacy Shield collects info on why (left). Make sure you've toggled off the rights for the Facebook partner websites (right). © NextPit

I discovered that 62 apps have access to my Facebook account, which is a lot! And not only do apps that were currently on my smartphone have access, some old and uninstalled apps were listed there as well. There are toggles where you can revoke access for each individually. Furthermore, you are also able to trust the app or report it. Reporting an app will prompt you to give an explanation before it is sent off. To know more about what permissions the app requires, you simply tap on the app name and it will let you know.

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Once you've scanned for one online profile, you can scan all the others which are then listed on the main screen of the app (right). You can check out the permissions for each app (left). © NextPit

The unused apps are ones I have never even used, which is a bit weird. It states on the app that removing unused apps that are still connected to your account helps to keep your personal data more private. So I thought it best to do this.

You can also block your data from being accessed by your friends’ apps, either all at the same time or one at a time. You will be blocking data such as biography, birthday, family and relationships etc. Ensure that under Facebook partners’ websites that you’ve switched the toggle on to block these.

Recently we wrote on how to view and manage your app permissions which goes a step further. But this app is simple, good and fast and gets the job done all in one nice user interface. Definitely check out the other article too if you want to go a step further than online profiles. MyPermissions also has a website with more services for Windows Live, LinkedIn etc.

What apps are you using to protect your data?

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Loie Favre

Loie Favre

Loie Favre found her way to her present passion for Android and smartphone technology after experiencing an epiphany when she held her Galaxy Note 2. From that point onwards, you can find her with her nose buried in countless Android apps and different smartphone models, and thanking her lucky stars that she gets to work at something she loves.

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  • 1
    Ceri just Lumber Jan 27, 2019 Link to comment

    Tried using this app but it wouldn't let me open it so had to uninstall it