Android users are being warned to check and update their phones’ privacy settings after a new update could leave their devices vulnerable.
The Android 12 operating system was released by Google in October 2021, with the company adding new privacy and security installments.
The new update can "hibernate" apps that haven't been used in a while to make data location less accurate.
As Google is known for targeted advertising based on personal data, Android users should ensure to lock down their privacy data.
The privacy information in Android 12 is based on the permissions you allow in the apps on your device, such as the camera, microphone, location and contacts. However, some apps need access to these to work.
The new privacy update by Google was added to increase the permission transparency.
How do I change my privacy settings?
By going into ‘Settings’ and ‘Privacy’ on your phone, and then opening ‘Privacy Dashboard’, you can see what apps are being used.
It is vital that Android users with this update check their microphone and camera access, which can be switched off instantly, through their Privacy Dashboard.
It is possible to delete your advertising ID where apps can link data to your device and build a profile of personalised ads.
To limit your personalised ads, go to ‘Settings’, ‘Privacy’, ‘Ads’ and delete ‘advertising ID’.
Adverts will still appear on your phone, but they will not be personalised.
Android privacy options are mostly in the Settings app, which can be changed through toggles.
By turning off the location history in the privacy menu, you can limit the amount of information Google collects from you.
However, the most secure method to protect your device is through a password manager to create unique logins and use two-factor authentication.