My first mobile was a brick. Literaly the size of a (small) brick. It could ring people and had 3 amazing ring tones! Then Nokia came along and I was in heaven. My first Nokia even had a game called snake in 19** something or other! Then came smart phones and I was in heaven again.
Next I learned how to root my phone and unroot it. Root, unroot, root, unroot and generaly fiddle with the inside gubbins! Then a guy called Snowden hit the news and I started investigating where my data was going. It never occurred to me to look closer to home and investigate my good old trusty mobile.
But when I did there was a shock in store.
I don't use social media. To be honest I have no time for people posting when they woke, what they had for breakfast and what colour their last poo was. I'm not a sewer inspector!
Imagine my surpise when I installed an android firewall and checked the log. After only a few minutes there were reams and reams of entries. Loads were directed to Google, loads to Amazon aws (Amazon cloud) and Facebook.
Hmmm. Did I mention that I don't use social media?
So I blocked the offending apps from accessing the internet. The apps went crazy.If my apps were 2 year old children (which at my age would be grand children!) they would be screaming at me! Constantly. All day long. I would probably be in prison for murder (not) but then these are just harmless little android applications. Aren't they?
So I started emailing the application developers asking the simple question: Why does your application make unauthorised communications with the internet?
Imagine my surprise when 95% of them didn't reply! One that did asked me to make purchases for various things. I emailed back and asked him to read the question again. He replied, said sorry for not understanding the question and said I should use PayPal to purchase app upgrades. I sent him a screen shot of the offending communication with Facebook. (Did I mention that I don't use social media?) A few days later he replied and said that the app contacts Facebook for advertising content to display when the app is used. Hmmmm, I use the paid version which according to the developer has no advertising. I emailed him this astonishing revelation. He never replied.
I deleted the app, a well known keyboard and installed one I had read about on xda developers forum. I now have a happy keyboard that doesn't want to talk to Facebook and tell the world what time I got up, what I had for breakfast or even, heaven forbid, what colour my last poo was. I'm still not a sewer inspector.
I hope you liked my little story and the screenshot attached.
I am not Hans Christian Anderson. There is no ogre under the bed. However a good firewall may just save you some data and make your battery last longer. Mine does. About 25% longer.
P.s. I still don't use social media.