Android OS devices don’t have such a great reputation when it comes to securing privacy for their users. However, one simple way of doing this is by using a passcode, fingerprint or pattern on your home screen to keep strangers out of your phone and out of your business.
By observing certain security measures, you can protect not only your Android device but the sensitive information that’s spread throughout your Google accounts. These include your Gmail as well as YouTube accounts. The latter doesn’t necessarily have top-secret information but it still feels a bit intrusive when someone can go through your ‘Watched’ history on your YouTube page.
This article will look at other ways in which you can secure your Android phone for more promising results.
Use the 2-step verification
For every Android user, it’s their Google account that controls all of their Google services. Instead of the one-step process of a simple password to get into your account, Google now has the 2-step verification which requires your permission before anyone, including you, can log into your account.
It works by requesting approval from a user’s trusted device, like an active phone, before allowing any login on another. For example, if you want to sign in to your Gmail account on your computer, a confirmation message is sent to your Android phone asking if you’re the one trying to sign in.
It’ll show you the model of the device being used, its geographical location, and the exact time the attempted sign-in happened. If it’s accurate, you can tap on the ‘Yes’ icon on your trusted device to proceed. If it’s someone else, you can stop them in their tracks.
Of course, this does not protect your Android phone in the physical sense but it does protect something more important. And that’s the confidential information inside your Google Account that you shouldn’t share with anyone.
Re-check your app permissions and delete unused apps
Sometimes when you download apps from the Google Play Store, you’ll be prompted to permit access to various folders on your phone like the camera, the gallery or even the microphone. Few people will stop to think before allowing the apps into these folders, not knowing that they could be downloading malware.
To be on the safe side, seriously think about revoking these permissions by going to the permissions icon inside your settings.
Under Settings, look for ‘Apps’ and then select the particular app whose permissions you want to take away.
Alternatively, you can just uninstall apps that you no longer use. By doing this, not only are you side-stepping potential risks but you’re also freeing up space that could be put to better use.
Install a VPN
Much like you would install a VPN on your computer, it’s just as important to install one in your Android device. You can do this manually through the settings on your Android phone with the help of your network administrator, although it’s a bit more complicated.
The simpler way is to install one from Google Play Store. A VPN protects your Android phone every time you log onto the internet, especially when using open and public Wi-Fi networks. Since a VPN works by concealing any information that you send out as encrypted data, it keeps prying eyes of hackers away from your private information.
One such app is TunnelBear, which is free to download and use.
Before deciding on a VPN to download from Play Store, start by looking at the reviews and ratings.
Find My Device
Part of securing your Android phone is making sure that you can find it even after it gets lost. And better still, making sure that you can clear its data remotely if it gets into the wrong hands. This is what the Android app ‘Find My Device’ does.
If your Android phone gets lost, you can log onto the Find My Device web page using a computer and locate the phone on the map. But this can only be achieved if the phone has a signal and is connected to the internet. If, however, the phone has been stolen and there’s no chance of recovery, a user can remotely wipe the phone clean and even sign out of their Google accounts.
If downloading this app is something that you haven’t done for your Android device, consider doing it immediately.