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Android 12 security settings to update ASAP

Apple fans have been enjoying impressive new updates for the latest iPhones for some time, packed with fun new features. However, the highlights of the iPhone updates were the updated security settings.

Despite an additional launch in October, Android users have waited patiently for Android 12 to roll out similar updates. Originally the update went out just to Google Pixel phones. Tap or click here for seven things you didn’t know your Android could do.

After an initial roll-out, the update is now being made available to Galaxy phones, and the rest are coming soon. So if you own an Android phone, make sure to adjust these Android 12 security settings.

Why the new update is a must

Google collects more data than anyone in the world, including Facebook, and is currently the most prominent digital advertising company globally.

So what does that mean for you if you own an Android phone? Your data is more likely to be tracked, accessed, stored, and sold unless you enter your security settings and change them from default. That’s where the Privacy Dashboard comes into play.

RELATED: Android 12: 5 things you can do now that you couldn’t before

The Privacy Dashboard

The most significant update with Android 12 is the Privacy Dashboard. Curious what apps are accessing your camera or location? The Privacy Dashboard will show you all of this information in one place. You can see what an app is accessing directly through the dashboard and turn it off.

It’s easy to get to the privacy dashboard and toggle permissions on and off for each app:

  • Head to Settings.
  • Choose Privacy.
  • Open up Privacy Dashboard.

Tap on each app one at a time to see its settings and change them accordingly.

What specifically can you control?

While the privacy dashboard doesn’t offer you everything Apple brought to the table where their most recent update is, there are still quite a few choices to control what apps can access and what they cannot:

Microphone and camera access

Not every app needs microphone and camera access, but you’ll be surprised how many apps have access to them anyways. Does Candy Crush need access to your camera? Probably not.

How do you know an app has microphone or camera access if you don’t see it listed? Android 12 introduces an indicator light that will show up in the top right corner of your screen. Curious which app is using it? Just swipe down, tap the icon, and you can see which app is snooping.

If you want to take access away, click on the pop-up, and you’ll be taken to Permission manager, where you can change what the app has access to.

Other permissions

Your camera and microphone aren’t the only things an app can access. Some apps will access other portions of your phone, like your calendar or your contacts. It’s easy enough to change permissions, head to the Privacy Dashboard and tap on the app you want to modify.

Location

This is a big one. Anyone who collects your location is likely storing the data and using it for targeted ads later. Some apps like Google Maps need your location to provide correct information, but most don’t. Head into the privacy dashboard and select the app to change permissions and turn off location sharing.

RELATED: 7 new Android 12 features to simplify your day-to-day

Delete advertising ID

Precisely like Facebook and Google, your phone has the advertising ID that it uses to compile data and show you ads based on your search history and activity online. If you don’t want targeted ads, you can delete the ID altogether from your phone so that third-party apps can’t track your information.

  • Head to Settings.
  • Choose Privacy.
  • Find Ads.
  • Choose Delete advertising ID.

To be clear, deleting this ID does not mean you will be ad-free. It simply means your ads will no longer be based on your data.

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