Sunday, 10 July 2011

LBE Privacy Guard update leaves your notification bar alone

LBE Privacy Guard helps you tame your apps. Downloaded something that wants to check your whereabouts for no good reason? Just tell LBE to deny access to your location to that app. Now you can use GPS without worrying about half the planet tracing your footsteps.

You can also control which apps can read your SMSs and which apps don't. Same for other private information like your phone number, IMEI, contacts, etc.

LBE Privacy Guard shows a warning when apps try to do something that may violate your privacy or cost you money. It also keeps detailed and well organised logs to let you check what your apps are up to when you turn your head. Permissions that you can control:
- making phone calls;
- sending SMSs;
- reading your SMSs;
- reading your contacts;
- reading your call logs;
- getting your location (by GPS or from networks);
- identify your phone by IMEI, IMSI, phone number, or SIM card ID;
- internet access.
It's up to you whether you grant or deny permissions. LBE can remember your answer so you don't get flooded with security warnings. You can also tell it to ask you again if you're not sure that your answer is the right one. Exceptions: no prompts for internet access and phone identification, only an allow/deny switch in the settings.

The new LBE Privacy Guard version improves blocking of outgoing SMSs for phones running on Gingerbread (Android 2.3). The user interface got cleaned up a bit, and you can now hide the annoying Vodafone-like icon that used to waste space in your notification bar when LBE was running. At first glance that may seem like a tiny cosmetic issue, but just think about how often your notification bar is looking at you (or the other way 'round).

Apps may refuse to run or even crash when they don't get the permissions they expect. It's a good idea to block permissions one by one so you know what's wrong if an app stops working.

LBE Privacy Guard is all about safely running apps that you don't fully trust. If you don't trust LBE, just tell DroidWall to keep it offline. It's a good idea to use LBE together with DroidWall, because internet is either on or off with LBE. DroidWall lets you fine-tune internet access so you can use different permissions for Wi-Fi and mobile data.

LBE Privacy Guard (Android Market)
LBE Privacy Guard (discussion on xda developers)

LBE Privacy guard and DroidWall require root access.
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