When apps are installed on an Android phone or tablet they can access information about you through your various Google accounts. Which apps can do this and what are they accessing? You can find out and then block them for extra privacy.

Most people don’t take much notice of privacy issues and they happily let all and sundry access their personal information. Do you really not care who can see your details or do you just not realise that you can control who has access to what?

I suspect it is the latter and people simply are not aware of what apps are accessing and how they do it. There are some useful features in Android that show which apps have access to personal information and you can even see what they have accessed and when.

Some of the accounts that they have access to include Google+ profiles, Google+ sign in, Circle members, Google Calendar, your email address, Gmail, Google Fit activity and body data, and location data.

All the information about which apps have access and to what is in the Google Settings app. Go to the all-apps screen and tap Google Settings.

Google Settings app

In Google Settings, tap Connected apps.

Google Settings app

This shows a list of apps that have permission to access your Google+ account, including your profile and everyone in your circles. It shows not only the apps that are currently installed on the Android phone or tablet, but every app you have ever installed, ever!

Google Settings app for Android

Do you really want all these apps to have access to your Google accounts? If you have deleted an app and no longer use it, there is no reason why it would need access. Tap the Disconnect button to revoke access.

Google Settings app for Android

When you do this, there is an option to delete all the app’s activities on your Google accounts. Tick the box and then tap the Disconnect link.

Google Settings app

One thing to bear in mind is that this is a global Google account setting and it is not specific to the device. Some of the apps listed may be used on other Android devices, such as a phone or tablet. Some apps might even be used on the computer, such as Chrome web browser extensions. Take care what you disable.

I would suggest looking at this list occasionally, seeing what is there and removing apps that don’t need to be purely for privacy and security reasons. It isn’t actually a major privacy or security issue, so don’t immediately panic when you see all those apps listed. Just tidy up the list every now and then.