Here are 11 helpful tips to keep your Android phone more secure
We live in a day and age where our mobile phones are an integral part of our lives. We communicate with them, we browse the internet with them, we bank with them. Our mobile phones are filled with sensitive data, the type of information which could be extremely damaging if it were to end up in the wrong hands.
Unfortunately, mobile phones make fairly easy targets for cybercriminals. Mobile phone technology is advancing faster than mobile security measures are, and many people don’t realize that they aren’t protected.
Here are 11 Android app ideas to help make your Android mobile device more secure:
1) Put a Lock On Your Screen
Perhaps the most obvious tip on this list is also one of the most effective. Make sure that your phone screen locks and requires some form of code or password to open. If anyone can access your phone simply by picking it up, your information is as good as compromised the second someone scoops up your phone. Make sure your phone screen locks, it’s simple and effective.
2) Only Download Apps from Known Sources
One of the quickest ways to get malware on a mobile phone is to download from unknown sources. The Google Play Store is a large app marketplace with many safeguards in place to prevent malicious apps from being downloaded to people’s phones. You can generally trust the apps that appear there. Elsewhere though? Not nearly as safe. Don’t download apps from unknown sources.
3) Watch Out for App Permissions
When you download an Android application, your phone will prompt you with a message detailing what the app is trying to access, pay attention to this. If an app is trying to access things it has no business accessing, for instance, a wallpaper app wants access to your SMS messaging, so be careful and alert. You may have downloaded something malicious.
4) Use Strong Passwords
This one should be fairly obvious, and this is actually pretty universal, but make sure you use strong passwords. This means strings of letters, numbers and symbols that wouldn’t be easily guessable. The longer the better. Also make sure you change your passwords on a regular basis. This is access to your phone we’re talking about here, if that’s compromised all of your information is just a tap away.
5) Upgrade to Android 3.0 or Above
The first version of Android to incorporate File System encryption was Android 3.0. Data encryption makes it significantly harder for anyone to access or steal your phone’s data. It’s absolutely vital that your phone have the capability to encrypt, otherwise you’re much more susceptible to data theft and loss.
6) Make Use of Said Encryption
Again, if the data on your phone is encrypted, it’s that much harder to access or steal. In order to enable encryption, go to “Settings” on your phone, select “Security” and then choose “Encrypt Phone” and “Encrypt SD Card.” Also, make sure you choose to go with a password rather than a PIN code, passwords are harder to crack.
7) Download an Anti-Malware App
Android Malware and Viruses are commonplace nowadays, but don’t worry. There are a number of great anti-malware apps to help combat them. Some of them cost money, some of them are free. We recommend going with a premium option—it’s a small price to pay for securing something a valuable as your mobile phone.
8) Don’t Connect to Unsecured, Unknown Wi-Fi
The natural inclination is to connect to Wi-Fi when it’s available—your phone will even prompt you when it finds a network. After all, Wi-Fi is free and using cellular data costs money, right? Be careful though, many Wi-Fi networks are insecure and malicious parties can attack your phone from them. Make sure you only connect to Secured Wireless networks.
9) Use Two-Factor Authentication When Available
Two Factor Authentication adds a much-needed layer of extra security that goes beyond just using a password. In the event that your password is ever compromised, Two Factor Authentication can prevent someone from accessing your accounts. Whenever Two Factor Authentication is an option, make sure to use it.
10) Download a Remote Wipe/Lock App
In the event your phone is ever lost or stolen, one of the fastest ways to ensure your data isn’t compromised is to install a remote Wipe/Lock app. This allows you to lock or wipe the contents of your phone from a computer or via a text message. Popular examples of apps like this are Cerberus and Avast Mobile Security.
11) Use the Chrome Browser
While your phone typically comes with a default Android browser, it’s actually safer to use the Google Chrome browser instead. Chrome is considered more secure than the stock browser and has been subject to fewer public insecurities. Chrome is also the more supported app and regularly has updates and patches released for it to continue keeping you more secure.
Hopefully these tips help to keep your phone more secure. And remember, common sense goes a long way when it comes to Android mobile phone security. If something seems fishy, it probably is. There are lots of cybercriminals out there attempting to exploit people via their mobile phones. So stay safe and be vigilant.