Android is an open source mobile operating system that is developed by Google. It is based on Linux Kernel and is especially designed for touchscreen mobile devices. Though the introduction of Android to the mobile world has revolutionized the industry, but there comes the risk of security with Android owing to its open-source nature.
Moreover, there is always a risk of getting your Android smartphone stolen. Losing your smartphone is way more than just a loss of contacts. You may lose a lot of private data along with it. You must treat your device with utmost care and secure it against online and offline threats. SO here we present you 10 tips to make your stay on Android even safer than before.
Use Strong Screen Security
One of the most basic advices to secure your Android smartphone is by protecting its screen. Use screen lock option so no one is able to open up your device without knowing the screen lock pattern or pin. Using just a ‘Swipe’ option to protect your screen is not a wise choice. You should protect it with a strong pattern, pin or password. Using a password that is the combination of uppercase & lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols is strongly recommended.
Saving All Passwords is Not a Good Choice
A number of users have a habit to save their passwords to the online sites and services on their device. Do not save all your passwords on your Android device, chiefly when it comes to the payment or banking apps passwords. You might have a big loss if your device is hacked or stolen.
Lock your Mobile Apps
It is very important to lock your mobile apps, especially the ones holding your private data. It is the second layer of security for preventing anyone from accessing your personal data, just in case it is lost and they have managed to bypass your smartphone’s screen security. You should use free apps available on Google PlayStore to lock the apps on your device. Use strong passwords as lock key and avoid using same password as you have used on the screen lock.
Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi Networks
A number of hackers monitor the public Wi-Fi networks. There is every possible chance that your online activity is monitored if you are using public Wi-Fi networks. The online snoopers might steal your data. You must avoid making online payments while connected to public Wi-Fi networks. Also, ensure that your home Wi-Fi network is encrypted and secured with strong passwords.
The virtual private network can come to your rescue and safeguard you against the online snoopers and hackers that might try to steal your personal information by breaking through your network security. A VPN masks your IP address with an anonymous IP and doesn’t log your browsing data anywhere on their servers. This makes it impossible for the intruders to detect your original IP and enter into your network. Moreover, if you are using some of the best VPN networks, you will be able to prevent the DNS leakages and most importantly, no one will be able to catch your online presence.
Though, you might have protected your Android device with screen lock and app lock, but you can still add an extra layer of protection by encrypting the phone’s data. Turn on the Encryption Option (Setting à Security à Encryption) on your smartphone. Enabling encryption scrambles your phone’s data until you put a decryption password. You will need the decryption password, every time you turn on your phone. The encryption and decryption process takes time and most of the people think that it‘s waste of time. But if your device contains some vital information, it is possibly the perfect step for you to take.
Check App Permissions
Before you install any app from Google PlayStore, a list of permissions of will pop up displaying the permissions app requires. The apps generally require the permissions to do certain things, but giving all permissions is not necessary. Go through the permissions carefully and check if it makes sense. For example – An alarm application have nothing to do with the permission to access text message. Also, go through the comments and ratings about the app. It is an important step towards your Android device security. Not all the apps on PlayStore are that safe.
Don’t Download anything out of Google PlayStore
There are a number of websites providing you APKs of different apps, but if these apps are available on Google PlayStore, avoid downloading them from unknown sources. Also, stop your devices from downloading the apps from unknown sources by managing the ‘Settings’ (Settings à Security à Device Administration à Unknown Sources).
Though smartphones are less prone from getting infected with malware or viruses as compared to PCs, but still the risk persists. The antivirus software will help your device to stay protected against the malicious programs and viruses. It scans your android device and removes the malware. A number of awesome antivirus programs are available on Google PlayStore. You can download the best one after having a quick look on user ratings and reviews.
Enable Remote Tracking & Wiping
The Android Device Manager is a stunning tool to track your lost device and wipe out the data on your Android phone/tablet. This free application can be downloaded from Google PlayStore. You can also access it on any web browser by signing into your Google Account. If the lost smartphone is connected to Wi-Fi network or mobile, you can easily track its location and wipe off the data in seconds.
Android platform is a marvel by Google that has revolutionized the mobile industry. It is very important to maximize your experience while using the Android device and at the same time stay safe while using it. The above-mentioned tips help you to have a safer experience on your Android device. Following these tips will ensure the safety of your private information that is stored on your Android device. Stay safe!
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.