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How do I stop my Samsung Galaxy phone randomly sending my photos to contacts?

Samsung Galaxy phone randomly sending my photos to contacts
Get the message: don't let Samsung's SMS app access your photos

Yes, you did read that headline correctly. There are reports – first surfaced on Reddit – that people’s Samsung Galaxy phones are randomly sending their photos to people in their contacts book.

In a post entitled “My S9+ sent my entire photo gallery to my girlfriend last night while I was sleeping”, one Samsung customer explains how he discovered his phone had been surreptitiously pinging out his photos. “Last night around 2.30am, my phone sent her my entire photo gallery over text but there was no record of it on my messages app. However, there was [a] record of it on T-Mobile logs. Why would this happen?”

Others report similar behaviour. “Oddly enough, my wife’s phone did that last night, and mine did it the night before. When her phone texted me her gallery, it didn’t show up on her end – and vice versa.”

It’s unclear who or what the culprit is here, but it seems to be happening to people who’ve installed a recent upgrade to Samsung’s SMS messaging app.

The other piece of good news for any British readers is that the problem appears to be limited to users of the T-Mobile network in the US, suggesting some kind of configuration screw-up with the network’s SMS settings, which are automatically sent to handsets.

How to stop your SMS messaging accessing your photos

Samsung is apparently looking into this alarming issue. In the meantime, if you’re affected or concerned you might be, you can take preventative measures to ensure your SMS service can’t access your photos.

Go into your Samsung Galaxy handset’s Settings app and search for “app permissions” and then open the App Permissions setting that should appear in the search results. Scroll down to Storage and then revoke the Messages app’s ability to access Storage. This will prevent it pinging out your photos while you sleep.

Samsung app permissions

 

Now read this: which version of Android am I using?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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