Simple Ways to Keep Your Android Phone Secure

Protecting your Android device takes more than a simple slide lock.

Many of us are more worried about security related to our desktops and laptops than our phones. But we should understand that unlike our computers, our smartphones carry personal data such as images, messages, emails and financial details.

In more simplified words, the threats that once were limited to desktops and laptops are now targeting Android phones.

Below are some methods to keep your Android phone safe with their built-in options.

Screen Lock

Every smartphone has this option. It’s one of the easiest ways of setting up a screen lock when it comes to protecting your Android phone. There are many options for setting up a lock screen varying from PIN locks, pattern locks, passwords, and if you have the hardware on your device, facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, iris scanning, and even NFC unlocking.

To set it up, go to Settings, then Security and from there, you will see the options for Lock Screen.

Remote Data Deletion

Many people use third-party software or even antiviruses for this feature, but what they don’t realise is that Android comes with its default set of tools to make the remote data wipe happen. If you drop your phone or leave it in a bar, you can use Android Device Manager to monitor your phone’s location. It allows you to ring the phone, lock it and even wipe its data if you have no option of recovering the phone.

To set it up, go to Settings, hover down to Google, search for Security and then select Android Device Manager. From there select Remotely Locate Device and also toggle Allow Remote Lock and Erase.

Unknown Sources

Most of us who do not want to buy applications from Android’s official Google Play Store tend to go for other options. However, to get pirated options, we have to permit our Android devices to install the content from unknown sources. This not only makes our phone prone to piracy but also malicious applications.

Therefore, if you have this option activated, we recommend toggling it off, making it a habit of switching if off as soon as you are done installing a 3rd party application. To switch off ‘Unknown Source’ go to Settings then to Security and you will find Unknown Sources under Device Administration. Toggle it off.

Built-In Scanning Options

Why go for a third-party application when everything is available to you in the operating system’s security options? The operating system can scan and verify the applications that you installed on your device by linking itself with its security servers back at Google; if it finds something harmful, the device will warn you and delete the malicious application.

To use this awesome feature, hit Settings then go to Google. From there enter Security, then go to Verify Apps, and toggle on both Scan Device for Security Threats and Improve Harmful App Detection.

System Updates

Like any other program, Android too has flaws and vulnerabilities, and cyber criminals are trying to exploit them for malicious purposes.

However, whenever a hacker finds a weakness or whenever a cyber security expert informs Google about a vulnerability discovered, Google releases an update for its users so that those vulnerabilities can be patched. Keeping this in mind, it is important to always be on a lookout for updates.

Check for them via Settings, then About Phone. From there go to System Updates and hit Check for Update.

App Permissions

One of the benefits of downloading applications from Google Play Store for Android versions before Nougat, is that once you install the software it offers you what the application can and cannot use. For instance, if an application is only there for reading, and it asks permission for activating your microphone and camera, you can deny the software the permissions and delete the app.