Research in Motion's BlackBerry smartphone OS is known for security, and that's for good reason. RIM designed the mobile OS with security in mind from the start, and it shows; the BlackBerry OS offers several ways for smartphone owners and IT administrators to control how mobile applications interact with your device and all of the data stored on it.
For the purposes of this article, I'll focus on how individuals can safely and efficiently manage BlackBerry application permissions, but if your BlackBerry is work-issued or otherwise connected to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), your BlackBerry administrator has the final say on what applications can be installed on your device, as well as the app permissions you can or cannot modify.
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(Note the information provided in this article in based on BlackBerry OS 6, but most of the advice also applies to other recent versions of RIM's OS.)
BlackBerry "trusted app status"
Whenever you install a new BlackBerry application on a smartphone, right after you download it and even before you open it for the first time, you're asked if you want to grant the software "trusted application status." By granting such status to an application, you're allowing it to access potentially sensitive information on your device without prompting you for permission again, and as such, you should be very selective about the apps that get trusted status.
Once you grant an app Trusted status, you can always go into your individual application permissions and modify them or remove the trusted status -- I'll explain how to do so shortly. But it's a good idea not to grant this special status for the majority of apps you install.
Examples of applications that might deserve trusted app status are applications from reliable developers and/or brands that you simply trust; very popular apps used by many without any sort of negative security or privacy reviews in BlackBerry App World (RIM's mobile software shop) or elsewhere; and, perhaps, applications you use or have used frequently enough to trust that also require constant permissions acknowledgements.
Still, I don't really recommend granting trusted app status, because you're basically giving a piece of software free reign of your device by doing so, and that could lead to trouble.
Best practices for managing BlackBerry app permissions
BlackBerry application permissions are broken down into three categories: connections, which control application-access to device features including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and USB; interactions, which dictate how applications can interact with device settings, and media and recording options; and user data, which let you decide which personal data to open up to applications.