Of course, that’s not the only issue, thousands of Android phones are stolen every year, potentially allowing people access to your most private details. Sorting out the issues associated with a stolen phone can be more than just time consuming and frustrating, the thief can actually use the information to steal your identity and create a huge issue for you.
Fortunately, there are ways to secure your Android phone and make this outcome much less likely, check out the best 10 below:
- Know Your Phone
Of course, you know how to use your phone, you’ve probably had a variety of different Android-based phones over the last few years. But, do you really know what your phone is capable of?
Take a few minutes to look at the operating system on your phone and the apps that are already loaded. You’ll probably find that you can access Smart Lock and Device protection. These are simple measures like if your device gets reset it can only be used after logging into your Google account or by knowing your screen lock.
These are built-in security features you should know about.
- Use Them!
The next step, once you realize what your phone can do, is to actually use those security features. Start with the simplest stuff. That means turning on your PIN lock, creating a pattern lock, or using your fingerprint reader to unlock your phone.
You can follow this by enabling two-factor authentication on your Google account and use Google’s online security tool to see if you’re using all the security features available. You should note that some security features can cause issues with your phone, don’t feel you need to use all of them but some are definitely better than none.
- Set Your Reminder
One of the most important steps in securing your Android phone is to set yourself a reminder. Security updates arrive all the time and technology progresses. It’s important to schedule a time, approximately 12 months in the future when you’ll review all the security features again.
This doesn’t mean you should ignore your security for the rest of the year, it’s good to always be vigilant.
- Encryption Possibilities
Your phone can be encrypted, this will make it impossible for anyone to access or understand the data on your phone. However, this often prevents the phone from working properly.
Instead, consider encrypting just the files that you have sensitive data in. You can get apps online that offer individual file protection. You can also look at apps that provide encryption for all outgoing and incoming messages, after all you’re most likely to send personal information in an email.
It’s worth noting that even SMS messages can be encrypted, there are a variety of options available including WhatsApp which will help to keep your personal information safe.
- Tracking Apps
You may already have heard of apps like mspy. These are initially designed to allow you to monitor the activity of your children. You can check messages and verify the location of your child’s phone. The intent is to ensure your children stay safe.
However, while using these apps to monitor your kids is a good idea, they can also be used to track your own phone. This will help you to get the phone back and check what data is being accessed if it’s ever stolen.
- Not Everyone Needs To Know Where You Are
If your location setting is on in your phone then you’re granting permission for hundreds of different apps to track where you are. That means these app developers know where you are and where you’ve been. They can build patterns concerning your consistent behavior, this information can be used by data marketing companies or even by less scrupulous individuals.
Switch location off and don’t give apps geolocation permissions, the majority of apps don’t need them.
- Forget Bluetooth & Wi-Fi
Who can really manage without Wi-Fi today? However, that doesn’t mean you need to leave it on. If you’re not at home and are not using your phone, turn the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off. It’s very easy to turn it back on when you need it and, if it’s not on, people can’t use it to hack into your phone.
As a bonus, it will help to lengthen your battery life.
- Connected Devices
If you have more than one device then you probably have a Google account connected to all the devices. This allows you to access your information on the cloud from anywhere.
That’s great, but, as old phones get left behind and other devices are lost or replaced, you’ll end up with a bunch of connected devices that don’t need to be connected. In fact, the connection can still be used by anyone with your device;
Check your security settings on your Google account, you’ll find a list of connected devices. Eliminate old ones and, if you see any you don’t recognize, delete them and change your password immediately.
- Unofficial Apps
There are plenty of unofficial apps on offer that echoes reputable apps on Play Store. These look like they are almost too good to be true as they offer the same benefits as the genuine app. Unfortunately, these apps are merely copycats designed to collect information.
Copycat apps can appear like genuine apps or can simply take advantage of a big event, such as the Olympics. This gives them the cover they need to slip into the Play Store and appear genuine.
You need to check reviews to get honest feedback on the app and make sure you are confident the app is genuine before you download it. If you get a bad app t can load other apps and give you unwanted ads.
- Avoid Wi-Fi
Your Wi-Fi is good, but, the Wi-Fi you find in your local coffee shop may not be.
For example, it may not be the coffee shop’s Wi-Fi that you’re tapping into. It may actually be a malicious network. You should verify the place has a network before you try to connect to it.
Don’t forget that any public Wi-Fi network is likely to be open, that means other users can see what you’re looking at. If you’re sorting personal information it’s better to use a private network, like the one you have at home.