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Mobile phone security
Your mobile is with you everywhere. Is it safe to use with regards to your personal privacy. Maybe....
For the average user the short answer is no. It is not secure or very private.
Both Google and Apple are data hoarders and you should automatically assume what ever you do, where ever you go, whom ever you communicate with is fair game for their servers to log, and where profitible, sell without your knowledge or permission. Just read TOS. They make much of their income selling your personal information to others.
Each app you use will come with it's own privacy rules and TOS. If you download an app from either's services they know what you installed.
There are secure messaging apps to be sure but those also have their own set of risks to consider.
- Your phone knows where you are when it is on network. GPS and Tower triangulation.
- Your phone tells your carrier where you are.
- Your apps may collect data about where you are and where you go.
- You have no option to deny how that data is saved, used or sold. This applies to the OS as well as most 3rd party apps.
- If you use Gmail you can assume you have zero privacy.
If you must use a phone for activism there are secure messaging apps but don't install from PlayStore or Apple Store. Download from the publishers site directly or check out sites like APKPure.com where you can bypass the spy stores.
Use only apps that do not require you to provide your phone number. Set them up using an encrypted email service, never your Apple or Gmail accounts.
This is not perfect but it is a step in the right direction.
If your an activist where being such puts you at risk your best bet is to ditch your phones OS and install an alternative. One such alternative is MicroG. It is technical. It has the potential to ruin your phone if not done right. Even if your just average Joe you may prefer to keep your private life private from the data vulchers.
Bottom line, as long as you use any mobile device with an OS provided by Google or Apple you really cannot hide.
You can and should install a VPN on your mobile device.
Unless you need it turn location and GPS off.
Note even when off sometimes Google can know where you are anyway. Watch this.