How to control which apps can access your contacts on OS X

Here's how you can limit which apps have access to your Contacts in OS X Mountain Lion.

When Apple released OS X Mountain Lion, it included some extra controls to help you keep personal information private. One area of personal information you now have control over is your Contact list. Prior to OS X 10.8, apps could access your Address Book (the name changed to Contacts with Mountain Lion) without alerting you, or requesting your permission.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

When you run an app on OS X Mountain Lion for the first time, and it tries to access your Contacts, you'll see an alert similar to that above. Clicking OK will allow the app to access your Contacts, and of course, Don't Allow will restrict that app's access.

  1. Should you change your mind at a later time and wish to either enable an app you previously restricted, or disable an app your previously allowed, you'll need to launch System Preferences.
  2. Click on Security & Privacy.
  3. There will be four tabs along the top, click on the Privacy option. You'll then see a list of privacy settings ranging from apps that can (or can't) access your location, Twitter account, and Contacts.
  4. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
  5. Select Contacts. You can then scroll through the list of apps that have requested access to your contact list. If the box next to the app is checked, it's currently allowed access to your contact list. Uncheck the box if you'd like to restrict its access.

That's all there is to it. You can now rest assured that your contact list is not being shared with a random app without your knowledge.

 

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