How careful should I be with my Android phone?

#1

I was wondering if anyone could give me their thoughts on this atypical situation.

I mainly use legacy technology, and a dumb phone. A bit back I thought I would pick up a Moto E on the cheap to see if there was anything in the world of modern apps I was missing out on. TracPhone has it locked down but I didn’t hook it to any carrier, so it has no cell service or data plan. It’s running KitKat (4.4.4) and I use it on airplane mode.

There is one single app on it that turned out to be helpful, and I use it every day. I would really like to keep this app, because it doesn’t run on any of the other legacy tech around. But, I hate the thought that this phone might be phoning-home overheard conversations during the brief times I take it off Airplane and hook it back to the network (I may never do this again, come to think of it).

Most of the obvious settings to turn off, are turned off. How much of a privacy risk do you think this phone is, if I want virtually nothing important to go back to Google? I’ve de-googled the rest of life, so the low-hanging fruit has been dealt with.

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(Jonah) #2

If this is an option, this is what you would do ideally. The preinstalled Android operating systems on any Google Play enabled device phone tons of data back to Google, so unless you can install a custom ROM without any Google apps I wouldn’t trust it at all.

This depends on what you define as important. Most likely it won’t be sending back too much actual data, but the action of making a connection alone is enough to give them an IP address and by extension a rough location.

#3

Jonah, thank you very much for your reply. I was not sure if Android even honors airplane mode, or sends back some data while it’s on as well. I wonder if it will burst, after months in airplane mode. :wink: I think you’re right, it’s best not to connect it again.

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