Need to make sure that no one’s going to get personal info stored on or sent via your Android device? Smartphone security shouldn’t be a stressful topic and having a secure device is not as hard as many make it out to be. Check out these simple security steps that any Android owner can replicate to make their device more secure.
Why Review The Security of Your Phone
An increase in awareness, coupled with greater mass media coverage of cyber attacks, has led to a lot of paranoia. It’s not that awareness is bad, or that malware isn’t a problem. But Android phones are safer than most online outlets make them out to be. Most of the time, the real chink in the Android armor is the user error and oversight.
Sure, Google slips up every now and then. Google Play store lets some malware through by mistake, and Android phones have had security bugs. But these are outliers, not the norm. Most of the time, when someone’s phone gets infected with malware or hackers steal credentials over WiFi, it’s down to human error.
With that in mind, take a look at these steps that will stave off any threats. They use security features that are already available — waiting to be used.
Authentication is a Security Basic
Lockdown methods like passwords, pins, swiping, and biometric technology count as authentication methods. They form the basis of any device security. Authentication may be the most critical aspect of digital security. Passwords keep personal info tucked away from prying eyes.
Authentication is important everywhere. A device that holds personal photos, banking apps and stores credentials is not an exception. It’s essential to activate authentication options and lock the phone down. Device theft is still a significant threat.
Of course, you can lock your phone, lose it, and still have data exposed. That’s why it’s crucial not only to lock the phone but also to encrypt your memory card before you start to use one.
Two-factor authentication is another important facet that comes into play. Hackers often get their hands on account passwords because of third-party data breaches. 2FA is vital for Google accounts since many connect them to so many other accounts and apps. Activating 2FA will deter any would-be cyber invader by sending a temporary code to the phone.
And finally, a password manager is an excellent tool for storing and managing passwords. Reusing passwords is one of the worst online safety taboos, and password managers help to prevent it.
App Management Keeps the Malware Away
Apps are by far the main reason why malware makes it onto any smartphone. It’s imperative to have a look at what apps have access to, both on the device itself and the connected Google account.
Most apps need only a couple of permissions to function. But the problem occurs when they ask for invasive or unrelated permissions. It’s a good idea to go over installed apps from time to time and check what they have access to.
Revoke any app permissions that seem unnecessary. If it ends up needing them, you can grant access when the app is in use.
While going through these, make sure to delete any old or unused apps as well. You can find app permissions in the “Apps & Notifications” section in the phone’s settings menu.
What’s more, go through Google’s account security settings and see what apps have permission to access the account. Remove apps that are no longer in use or don’t need to have access to the account.
Keep in mind: apps downloaded from places other than the Google Play Store are more likely to infect the phone. These apps usually aren’t reviewed by the marketplace. Thus, they more often slip up and let malicious apps go through. So exercise extreme caution.
Don’t Forget About Security Apps and Features
Downloading an app for security reasons and forgetting to turn it on is as unexcusable as reusing passwords. Google Play Protect protects you from harmful apps. Only if you have it installed and running, of course.
Play Protect not only disallows the installation of apps that may pose a threat to the device, but it also scans installed apps. Constantly. It gives Android owners a little more peace of mind knowing that something is making sure their apps aren’t acting up.
The same goes for VPNs. A VPN download alone doesn’t protect you from the dangers of public WiFi. You need to accept the VPN connection request (the first time you start using the app) and turn the VPN on.
A few clicks. That’s all it takes. But many people still forget to do it.
Take Responsibility for Smartphone Security
Android can only do so much. The rest is up to the smartphone owner. Most people know that they shouldn’t click on links sent from unknown email addresses. But following through is the hard part.
Android owners should be thinking of how they use the phone. They should know what cyber threats are here and protect themselves from them.
Have important files on your phone? Use encryption. Would ransomware destroy your hard work or personal data? Always make backups. Can’t remember your passwords? Download a password manager.
There are so many ways to protect your phone, and you only need to use them. It all comes down to being mindful of what counts as safe device management. Being aware of what isn’t safe to do will always be a big part of how owners keep their devices secure as well. Security doesn’t always have to be top of mind when using a smartphone, but it should never be forgotten either.