Securing your Android phone or Android tablet is more involved than adding a PIN lock. Phones contain a lot of sensitive information and it is essential to keep out of other people hands. Here we have listed some of the best security tips to follow if you are using an Android mobile device.
Use a lock screen
Setting up a lock screen is one of the simplest and the best security tip to protect your Android device. You can set up either a PIN, pattern lock or password. Recent technological advancements mean you can use your fingerprint to unlock your phone. You can also use your eyes to unlock your phone. Head over to Settings -> Security to set up a lock screen.
Many applications on your phones might consist of sensitive information that can fall into wrong hands and can be misused. If you don’t want to set a lock screen then it is advisable to use an application to lock individual applications on your mobile phone. This security tip allows you to set a PIN or Pattern lock for other apps like Gmail or Facebook. You can also store photos and videos in a secure restricted vault. These apps help prevent others from accessing confidential information on your phone.
Use Android Device manager
Even if you have locked your device what happens if you happen to lose it? You can use Android Device Manager to track your lost device and if it is necessary, you can wipe the device clean so that nobody can retrieve the data in it. To enable these features, go to Settings -> Google -> Security to find these two settings: Remotely locate this device and Allow remote lock and erase. If your phone has internet access and the battery has not died out you can use these two options when you misplace your phone.
Install apps only from Play Store
Google does not allow you to install apps downloaded from the internet or any other sources. This means that you cant install third-party apps that are not verified by Google. You can encounter websites that try to install apps without your permission and get access to data on your phone. Android has a setting that blocks any app that is not from the Google Play Store. But when you really need to install third-party apps from trusted sources you have to turn this option on and after installing the required app turn it back off. Thus the security of your phone is ensured.
Virus and Malware
Android OS is highly susceptible to virus attacks due to its open nature. You could get viruses by clicking on malicious links on the internet or a text message. Some apps that you download from the internet can be viruses in disguise and so it is essential to have a strong security solution. You can try to install antivirus apps like Avast or AVG. The easiest way to steer clear of virus and malware is to only download apps from the Play Store and be careful what you click on the internet.
Use secure WiFi networks
Public Wi-Fi is available at most places for free of cost, but it is not secure. Most of the public WiFi networks are not safe, so don’t use these networks just because you want a free internet connection. Hackers can exploit these unsafe networks to steal information from you. If you really need to use a public Wifi don’t pay any bills or make any transactions and use a VPN if possible.
Keep Android and apps updated
Android updates not only bring new features but also bug fixes and patches to a lot of security updates. The same applies to applications downloaded from the play store as well. You need to make sure that you are set to auto-update your apps over Wi-Fi in Google Play Settings. Also Settings -> About Phone -> System Updates to get updates for Android.
Back Up your device
Backing up your device is very important in case of accidental data loss. Even if your phone gets stolen you will have a copy of the data on the phone. Backing up android also means things such as photos and videos too, they can be accessed through any web browser using your Google account. The next time you buy a new phone you need not have the hassle of setting it up from the scratch, you can use the back up to pick up where you left off.
For people who want to ensure their device completely protected, you can encrypt the contents of your device. Settings ->Security->Encryption. This scrambles all the data on the phone until you put in the decryption password. The only downside is that encryption and decryption take time and for a majority of users it might feel like it is an unnecessary step.