Apps and Your Privacy — Do This One Thing to Keep Yourself Safe

Apps Screenshot

Apps connected to my Google account.

Apps often greatly enhance your on-line workflow.

But how often are you enabling apps without really thinking about it?

I recently read a helpful article on lifehacker offering some cautions about the number of apps we typically enable. It’s titled How to Secure Your Online Accounts By Revoking Access From Third-Party Apps

The article also provides excellent, platform-by-platform directions for checking and weeding out the apps you don’t use.

Your Apps — First, Find Out What You Have

Your first step in making yourself more secure online is to do an audit. The more comprehensive your audit the more likely you are to find potential leaks. Then, as you look at what you’ve got, the lifehacker piece advises:

If you don’t remember an app, an app is free and you don’t understand the business model, or it just doesn’t sound familiar, it’s a good idea to ditch it.

The illustration above shows what I’ve enabled for my Google account. Reviewing the list, I notice an app — — that I don’t recall enabling or using.  So, this is an item that I’ll either remove immediately or do some more research on before making a decision.

So, where do I start checking?

This depends, to a large extent, on the online tools that you use. If you are active on Facebook, for example, you’ll want to take a look at the apps page in your Facebook account.

The lifehacker article gives helpful directions for doing this in some of the most frequently-used venues. It’s a good idea to audit yourself once every month or so. Not only do unused and unknown apps present security risks, they also take up space and bandwidth on your system. So, cleaning them up periodically offers a number of benefits.

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