Virtually every basic task most people perform now requires the Internet. Shopping, working, learning, and hanging out with the people we care about all happens either online or with the help of the Internet. Yet, protection and security in this new world is too often an afterthought.
Most people would not leave the door to their house unlocked 24/7. Neither would they leave the keys in their car, or wear a t-shirt with their social security number stamped on the front. But, when people leave their phones almost entirely unprotected from hackers and dangerous software, they are basically doing all of these things with their personal information.
Unfortunately, most devices do not come with a brief introduction to cyber security. However, learning how to protect your device is not all that difficult. In fact, most Android devices come with important security features that are either already built in or are easy to install. All you need to do is enable them.
Check out these six easy and critical Android security tips.
1. Add a Password to Set Up Screen Lock
The easiest thing that you can do to protect your private information is to add a password to your phone. Depending on your device, you can use a pin code, a pattern, or even a fingerprint to add a basic level of protection for your device.
Go into “Settings,” and head to “Security.” Select the “Screen lock setting” and choose the most appropriate security system for you.
Do not be put off by the apparent inconvenience of using a password. Some devices feature settings that automatically switch off the password when the device is recognized as being in a trusted location. You can also use a “Smart Lock” setting that allows the phone to recognize your face or a Bluetooth-connected device
2. Enable Android Device Manager
Android Device Manager is an application that is preinstalled on every Android device (that is unless your Android phone is not Google-based). The app offers features that allow users to find, lock or wipe their phone in the event that their phone is misplaced or stolen.
Head to Google Settings, which is often found in the main “Settings” section. Navigate to the “Security” section. Choose “Android Device Manager,” and turn on “Allow remote lock and erase” and “Remotely locate this device.”
For the best experience be sure that the device’s location is turned on.
3. Encrypt Your Device
Encryption is a method of security that scrambles the data into something that is unreadable unless you have the password.
Android does not force users into it because at the current moment encryption has a tendency to slow down Android phones. However, encryption is still important, and the recent Apple stories about hardcore encryption ensure that full-scale encryption on Android devices is only a matter of time.
To encrypt your device head back to “Settings.” Click “Security,” then select the “Encrypt phone” setting located in “Encryption.”
Be sure to have a free few hours to complete this process. The device will also need to be plugged in throughout the process. Do also note that encrypting your phone will reformat and wipe all the data in your phone, so do a backup first before you proceed.
4. Read App Permissions
The Android system only allows the apps you download to access the data within the app itself. However, more and more apps want more control of your device to learn more about you. In order to get this access, the user is required to give the app permission.
You might be surprised at what some apps require from you. To get this data the app must request permission. In most cases you might grant the permission for the app to work.
Head into your “Settings” and look at the “Apps” list to check out the permissions apps request. You can turn off individual permissions here or even delete apps that might be asking more than you want to give.
5. Add Anti-Virus Protection
The Google Play store offers thousands of apps that act as an extra layer of security for Android Devices.
Just like your computer, your phone needs protection from viruses and malware. Check out the mobile security and anti-virus apps available for mobile devices. There is a range of free and paid apps to choose from, and some of the biggest names in online security, like Norton, have produced mobile software.
6. Create Tougher Passwords
All the security in the world cannot protect you if your phone gets hacked, and every single password on the device features the name of your dog.
Consider finding a password manager to create and store randomized passwords for you. This will allow you to create secure passwords, but it will not force you to remember them all. Password managers protect your individual applications from all kinds of harm, even if one app is compromised.
Even setting up all of these security measures will not keep threats from approaching your front door; however, together they can keep dangerous criminals from getting into your house. Take time to learn more about the basic and extended security settings available from Android devices to keep your phone as secure as your home.