It might not have been your New Year’s resolution, but any time’s a good time to tidy up your smartphone, delete unwanted apps, and check what permissions you may have granted to the apps you need.
Whether you’re and Android and iOS user, these four tips should help you speed up your phone and reduce the amount of personal data you give away.
1 – Tidy up your Android apps: Go into Settings > Apps > All apps and delete every app that you didn’t use last year. This will save both storage space and battery power. There are apps that can’t be uninstalled but you can at least deactivate them.
Don’t be put off by the device asking you if you’re really sure you want to delete an app. Even though many apps claim to be essential, very few actually are.
It’s best not to touch Google Play Store, Google Play Services and Android System Webview.
2 – Install a data-secure Android browser: Firefox Focus is a slimmed-down, privacy-focused browser with some useful add-ons.
For example, there’s the tracking blocker Ublock Origin or Cookie Autodelete, which initially allows cookies to be set so that websites run smoothly but then removes them immediately.
3 – Check iOS apps and permissions: Go into Settings on an iPhone to see what apps are installed and what permissions they’ve been granted.
Delete any apps that you haven’t used in the past year and deny any permissions that don’t seem necessary for that app to function, for example, access to your location.
4 – Block trackers in Safari: Safari is still the browser of choice for iPhones but Firefox Focus can be integrated into it to disable trackers. – dpa