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Are Apps Spying On You? Find Out With DCentral1 for Android

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Android, Security Help
 
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As technology becomes even more pervasive integrating into every aspect of our lives, many people are starting to take a serious look at security.

Let’s see at how Google defines the word:

se·cu·ri·ty
siˈkyo͝oritē
noun
1.the state of being free from danger or threat.
“the system is designed to provide maximum security against toxic spills”
antonyms: vulnerability, danger
procedures followed or measures taken to ensure the safety of a state or organization.
“amid tight security the presidents met in the Colombian resort”
synonyms: safety measures, safeguards, surveillance, defense, protection 
the state of feeling safe, stable, and free from fear or anxiety.
“this man could give the emotional security she needed”
synonyms: peace of mind, feeling of safety, stability, certainty, happiness, confidence 
antonyms: disquiet

2.a private police force that guards a building, campus, park, etc.

 

Since most people can’t afford to hire a private police force to protect their data, this article will focus on the best option available today that will tell you what the apps on your phone are up to.

DCentral 1 by John McAfee comes from the man that basically invented computer security in the 90′s with his McAfee brand of anti-virus products. 

Now he is taking on the mobile world with his new app that identifies what the individual apps you have installed on your android phone are doing.

I’m sure you may have wondered if any app is trying to listen in on your discussion or watch you through your camera well now you can know for sure who’s trying to do what.

The app is available on the Google Play store for download and it’s FREE.

Once you install it you will see a new app available that you can place on any of your home screens as below: (top left corner)

 

 When you launch the application the following screen appears:

When the app loads you can begin the scan or select options and help in this case we will start the scan so we can figure out what the apps installed are doing:

When the scan is complete the app will show you a listing of all the apps installed on your android phone and a DCentral score which is a rating to determine how much access an app is attempting.  

The lower the better for example the DCentral app itself is rated a 0 while Twitter is rated 18.

 

You can also click the sort by category tab and list all apps based on the category of access they are attempting:

When you click the sections you will see which apps are attempting which type of access:

For example apps like SoundCloud, Twitter, and The Holy Bible are attempting to access my location:

And all the “downloaded” apps on my phone have access to my system which I found very interesting:

Also, you can obtain additional information about what the app is trying to do in detail and also get advise on how much of a concern the access presents.  

With this info you can determine if you want to uninstall the app or leave it on your phone:

Here’s another view of Pandora a very popular music streaming app (my favorite station is John Coltrane Radio Btw)

 

Overall I give the app two thumbs up for what it does in providing us with the ability to know for sure what the apps on our phones are doing.

I applaud John McAfee for creating this neat little free app, I would be willing to bet that in a newer version you’ll be able to do even more to restrict what an app can do on your phone.

Give it a try and see what your favorite apps are doing I look forward to reading the comments. 

~Darnell Jackson

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8 Responses to “Are Apps Spying On You? Find Out With DCentral1 for Android”

  1. Joyce says:

    Will this work on a Samsung tablet?

    • Darnell Jackson says:

      Maybe if the tablet can download apps from googleplay then it could work i would be interested to see what happens too loop us in if you get a chance to try it.

  2. Virginia says:

    Thanks for this article. My question is: Is there such an app for the iphone? Thanks for checking this out.

  3. K.Vee.Shanker. says:

    It’s quite interesting. Thank You Darnell!

  4. Akoolo says:

    Other than uninstalling, can the application be able to bar/stop spying
    thanks in advance

    • Darnell Jackson says:

      Hey Akoolo,

      This early version only has the option to uninstall the app I would hope in a future version that you’ll be able to shutoff certain features. Such as your microphone or the camera to stop spying.

  5. Darnell Jackson says:

    Well what I can say is someone has made a firefighting app called DCentral on itunes I would assume that a version would come out for the iPhone but typically the security is so different on each device maybe not. I know Mcafee makes antivirus for pc and macs so maybe soon?

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