How to use Connects to know where your apps are calling out to

If mobile security is important to you, you might want to know what countries are receiving networking packets from your apps. Jack Wallen shows you how with Connects.

Where are your apps sending data? Connects can tell you.

Have you ever wondered what countries your Android apps are sending their network packets to? Are you certain that game changing app is really only communicating with that one service? Or maybe, just maybe, there's some underlying daemon sending out another signal to another location. Well, with the help of an app called Connects, you can find out exactly where those packets are heading.

The app is free and can be installed from the Google Play Store. Using this app is just as easy as installing. All you have to do is open the Connects app and watch the connections being made. When you see a connection form, tap on its end point to find out what app is making the connection, as well as where the connection ends. Clearly some of the connection information will require you do a bit of research. For example, what app is responsible for ginlemon.flowerfree (Figure A) and why is it communicating with Amsterdam. Turns out, that particular packet comes by way of Smart Launcher, an app developed in Italy (at least according to the Play Store). So why is it communicating with Amsterdamn? I don't know. Should I trust it or not. That is the question.

Figure A

Figure A

Smart Launcher communicating with Amsterdam.

If you find out an app is communicating with a suspect location, uninstall the app and be done with the concern. It's that simple.

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By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....