Consider Your Application Permissions

How to decide what permissions to give you mobile applications

Think before you install


When you want to download an app ask yourself some basic questions:

  • What exactly is the app meant to do?
  • What will it need to do that? For instance, a mapping tool will require your location data.
  • Has it got good reviews? Do the reviews look genuine?
  • Do I trust the people who developed it?

These questions will help you decide whether to download the app and what permissions to grant it.


Applications requiring location information


Many apps ask for your location information.

Some apps will require it for legal or practical reasons but the majority will use it to serve advertisements to you based on your area.

Only give this data to apps you think need to have it in order to function correctly.

If in doubt, don’t grant the permission or don’t install the app.



  • How do they store this information about your location?
  • Do you know how long they may keep it for?
  • Will it be sold on to third parties?

Location information can be used to track you and identify where you live and your place of work... Read the privacy policies for apps that use location information so you can make an informed decision.


Applications that request your contacts and social media accounts


Some applications will request access to your contacts and social media accounts.

This can be to send messages or to authorise your account.

It can also be used to post things on your behalf using you as an advertising tool or as a way of harvesting contact details which malicious apps will then sell on.

Make sure you trust the company as you giving them yours and all your friends’ details.

If in doubt, don’t grant the permission or don’t install the app.


Applications that request control of your camera or microphone


Applications regularly ask for access to the camera and microphone.

Do you know if they can record you microphone constantly?

Or can they only do so when you take a video/make a call?

If in doubt, don’t grant the permission or don’t install the app.


How to access permission controls


On iOS devices, permissions can be changed by going to Settings > App Name.

Once you click on the app name, the services it has access to are shown and can be turned on & off in this menu.


On Android you cannot choose for individual applications unless your device is running Android 6.0 or above.

On Android 6.0 or above go to Settings > App, and then select the app permissions on the app info screen.