Applications (“Apps”) are small programs you can install on your smart phone or tablet. Because they are licensed software programs, be sure to take the time to review an Apps’ terms and conditions before you accept and install them on your device.
Let’s look at the App “Zynga Poker” which is a free online poker game. It’s a free App so it’s ok to accept the terms and conditions without reading them, right? Let’s look a little closer at the “fine print.” Storage: The App will have permission to modify or delete the contents in your USB storage. I hope you don’t have any important files or photos stored there. System Tools: Prevents the tablet from sleeping. This App can override your settings and your tablet will not sleep with this App running. Paid Services: When you send an SMS message the App can auto-bill you. Network Communication: Full network access. When you click on the permission title the App should show you why it is asking for permission. Phone Calls: Reads phone status and identity. Allows the App to access your phone and determine the phone number and device IDs and who you connect to. Personal Information: Reads call logs and contacts. Wow! The App can get a list of all incoming and outgoing phone numbers, save your “data” and share your numbers and call log without your knowledge. An example of “data” saved includes the frequency with which you call and e-mail other people.
But wait, there’s more! Click on “See All Text” and five more titles come up. System Tools: Installs and uninstalls shortcuts. Development Tools: Tests access to protected storage. Network Communication: Access to billing services. Hardware Control: Controls vibration on devices. Your Accounts: Allows the App to get a list of accounts known by the tablet.
If all of the above sounds great, click the “accept” button. Don’t be too afraid; over 10,000,000 people have downloaded the “Zynga Poker” App so far. Have fun with Apps on your tablets and phones, but take a second to review the terms and conditions before you accept them.
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