An all-access pass to my info just to use an app? No thanks!

To play a casino game on my phone I needed to give the app access to my address book, photos, videos and grant permission to record audio. Hmm… now, let’s see if I can figure out how my personal information and files could be compromised.

A lot of times we just hit “OK” and “allow” to pop-ups that appear on a screen. It’s our lack of attention that could (read: does) make us victims to the theft of our private — or what should be private — info.

As much as we want to play victim and feel outrage when our personal information is stolen (but is it really stolen if we give access?) it’s our own carelessness that is to blame.

What are the questions I asked myself when prompted by the apps? Let’s recap: What possible reason would the maker of this game have for needing to access my photo gallery? And, do I really want to play this game so bad that I will OK this request/demand? Because really, sometimes it’s a demand. If you deny the request, you can’t use the app.

I’m also cautious when a company requires my cellphone number or other personal info. I’m hesitant, often giving fake contact details if it doesn’t pertain to the transaction.

I’m leery if I buy a pair of socks in a store and suddenly they need my email address and cellphone number. No thanks. I’m good with just the purchase. I realize it’s for marketing purposes so they can blast me with alerts when there’s something I might be interested in but I’d rather keep my transactions off my personal phone and email.

My mom recently told me that she gets texts from a clothing store she once shopped at. She said she’s not given the option to unsubscribe on the text and it’ll be too much hassle for her to contact the company to stop the messages. So, she lets the notifications continue. (Prediction: The longer she lets it go on the more she’ll resent the company and not want to shop there anymore.)

So, be mindful of where you share your information and to whom/what you grant its access. You’re the one to blame if you give people permission for the sake of winning pretend money on a video slot machine.

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