What you’re holding in your hand, a slab of glass, contains your whole life. Everything from sensitive correspondence to personal photographs and video recordings of life’s most memorable moments is stored there. Nonetheless, you probably don’t devote nearly enough time to ensuring that your phone is set up to safeguard your privacy.
When considering your phone’s privacy, you can do it in a few different ways.
How To Make Your Android Phone Secure?
There’s the information it gathers about your habits and preferences, and there’s the security measures you may take to prevent the gadget from falling into the wrong hands. They are both crucial, and there are simple ways to enhance them.
Don’t Mess Around With the Fundamentals
Your first step should be to ensure that you have a firm grasp of the basics. These are the recommendations that the security and privacy community has been making for years, and they are ones that you probably already know and (hopefully) implement.
Screen locks are the first line of protection against unauthorised access to your phone, and a PIN or passcode is preferable to a pattern swipe.
After that, you should use a password manager to generate different passwords for each of your online accounts and enable two-factor authentication wherever it’s available. Both will make it harder for hackers to access your account by using information stolen in data breaches.
You should enable automatic software upgrades to fix issues and protect your device from cyberattacks. To enable automatic updates for apps, go to the Play Store’s settings and look for the relevant option.
You Should Probably Lock Your Apps
If your phone ever gets lost or stolen, the passcode or PIN will prevent anyone from accessing your information. That, however, isn’t always sufficient.
You should consider adding extra locks on the apps you want to be more safe for the times when you need to deliver your unlocked phone to the people around you (to show images to friends, for example, or to give to your children to play on).
Apps on Google’s Android platform can seek access to system resources, unlike Apple’s iOS. This allows for protecting specific apps with a password.
In order to secure your apps, you’ll need yet another app. Many are available in the Android market, but it’s important to use caution whenever downloading anything. You should generally avoid downloading an app if it is cluttered with advertisements, doesn’t have transparent privacy settings, or isn’t made by a developer you know and trust.
The Norton App Lock is a solid option for anyone looking for a secure method of storing their apps. It’s provided by a reliable security brand and makes it possible to protect many apps or categories with a single password.
Subvert Information Leaks
There is nothing more humiliating than having someone look over your shoulder on public transportation and see notifications flash up with the complete message contained, but travel isn’t really an option for many individuals right now. It’s the same feeling you get when a message full of office gossip about the meeting you’re in pops up on your shared computer screen.
But things need not be this way. To disable the “sensitive notifications” feature, go to the settings page, then search for “notifications.” With this setting, even if your phone is locked, the notification banner won’t reveal the contents of any incoming messages.
Beware about Stalkerware
The increase in stalkerware in 2020 is cause for concern. Stalkerware expresses itself on mobile devices as constantly active apps with the ability to monitor and record the user’s every move. This is becoming more of a problem in cases of domestic violence, and the evidence of the technology may be difficult to find unless you know to look for it.
Take Advantage of a Virtual Private Network
While virtual private networks (VPNs) can aid in keeping your browsing activity hidden, they are far from foolproof. The app encrypts your connection to the internet and forwards it through a distant server. It prevents your ISP from accessing and storing your complete browsing history.
Those who utilise virtual private networks (VPNs) the most include journalists, activists, and anyone else who wants to circumvent government censorship.
However, choosing a VPN might be difficult. There is a wide variety of possibilities, each with its own set of costs. A premium VPN is preferable because it is less likely to engage in unethical data practises; plans that cover several devices are convenient for protecting an entire household.
Our top picks are Windscribe and ExpressVPN. Both are lightning fast, and unlike some VPNs, they won’t keep logs of your web activities.
Alter the Programs That Open Automatically
If you’ve had your Android phone for a while, you probably haven’t given much mind to the default apps you use for things like search, voice assistants, phone, and SMS.
This summer Google unveiled a choice screen on new Android phones—after it was fined £3.8 billion by the European Competition Commission—that allows customers to chose their search engine during the initial setup. You can now select an alternative search engine to Google.
Default applications may be found under Android’s “apps & notifications” section of settings, where you can select the apps you use most often. It’s not limited to just a search engine; you may swap between different web browsers, virtual assistants, home apps, phone apps, and SMS apps, among others.
The free and open-source softwares Firefox (a web browser), DuckDuckGo (a web browser and search engine), and Signal (a messaging app) are some of our favourite privacy-friendly options (SMS).
Always Use Encryption
Your phone’s passcode prevents unauthorised users from accessing your files and data, but it does not ensure the security of the data saved on your phone from a technical standpoint. The disc of your device must be encrypted in order to achieve this.
With encryption activated, even if someone manages to get your data off your smartphone, they’ll need the passcode to open them. Google says that encryption makes it so that even if an unauthorised third party gains access to the data, they won’t be able to read it.
Searching for “security” or “encrypt” in the settings app should bring up the option to encrypt your device. You’ll need your phone’s PIN (which you’ll either already know or will need to create) and the battery to be charged in order to proceed.