0

I want to know that suppose there is an app in my android app, which secretly keeps stealing my data over wifi/3G (whenever connected to internet).

Suppose there is an app that will keep posting my contact list or photos or other data to some URL with out letting me know about it.

Is there any android app that can monitor my phone or can guarantee that i am safe from any kind of data theft and ensure all security perspectives.

Thanks in advance

1

I don't think that what you want to do is feasible - even via an app - as it would require a huge job of analyzing logs on the part of the user.

Many apps, especially games, are known for harvesting the user's personal details and sell them to data brokers. First, you should check an app's permissions before installing it; if it requires too many permissions unrelated with the app's alleged functions, avoid it. To review the permissions of already installed apps, you can use F-Secure App Permissions.

This said, if an app requires permission to e.g. access the network, your contacts, and your phone details, there's nothing stopping it from sending this data somewhere once you've installed it. The only way you can win this game is via prevention.

3
  • 1
    Or using a Stand-Alone Permission Manager (requires root), revoking corresponding permissions from the app-in-question (e.g. access to those private data), or using an Internet Firewall app (again, the good ones require root) to forbid that app accessing the internet. Both ways may result in restricted functionality. None of those works e.g. for an app that shall sync your addressbook with a server. – Izzy Sep 16 '15 at 14:16
  • @Izzy: that comment is worthy of an answer all by itself... If you drop me a note after you've done that, I'll come back and upvote that instead of the comment... – Fabby Sep 18 '15 at 23:40
  • Done that, @Fabby – and included a few more details, to make the answer matching our quality rules :) – Izzy Sep 19 '15 at 0:50
1

There is no perfect solution for that in an automated way. Think e.g. of an app intended to sync your contacts or calendar data with a cloud service: it must access both, your data and the Internet, and it must transfer your data (that's it's purpose) – so how should a "monitor app" tell the good from the bad? And that's only one combination, thus not even a "simple whitelist" would do.

However, there are possibilities. You could use a Stand-Alone Permission Manager (requires root), revoking corresponding permissions from the app-in-question (e.g. access to those private data), or using an Internet Firewall app (again, the good ones require root) to forbid that app accessing the internet. Both ways may result in restricted functionality. So these solutions require some knowledge of what to restrict where (though try-and-err might work as well: if something breaks, just lift the restrictions a bit). Several permission managers also keep logs of which permissions an app tried, so you could check then what might have caused functionality to break.

One such app (and a very good one) is X Privacy, requiring root and being based on the famous Xposed framework:

Xprivacy Xprivacy enter image description here
XPrivacy (source: Google Play; click images for larger variants)

As the name suggests, this app is intended to protect your privacy. It monitors which permissions an app accesses, and allows a very granular control. Experts can even go beyond the permissions, and e.g. restrict parts of it while permitting others – while beginners can stick to a "simple mode" (the "full potential" otherwise can become quite overwhelming).

Forgot to mention: Xprivacy (like some of its competitors) also can "ask you on access", so you can a) decide context-based and b) learn at what moments such access happens. This way you can figure whether an app accesses your private data without your consent. I e.g. remember an app that wanted to access my contacts without me triggering an action requiring that – which is exactly what you want to figure out for your apps, and thus a "perfect match".

Hopefully, Android 6 (Marshmallow) brings this feature out-of-the-box – as it was announced to ship with a permission system allowing adjustments after install. I'm just sceptical on "how deep that reaches" – and especially doubt it will e.g. allow you forbidding Internet access to apps (lost revenue in ads certainly will prevent that from Google's end).

2
  • 1
    Wow! I'm going to read up on those quality standards next. – Fabby Sep 19 '15 at 12:14
  • @Fabby speaking of which, I forgot a main element (updated, 2 more paragraphs at the end) :) – Izzy Sep 19 '15 at 12:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.