Despite Google’s constant efforts, Android is still a security mess. The severe lack of regular patches and OEMs’ unwillingness to prioritize software updates has led to an utterly vulnerable environment. This leaves your data in a critical predicament regardless of the additional fingerprint authentication or that annoying antivirus app you’ve installed. Hence, in this article, we’ll discuss a slew of security precautions you must take on Android devices for a safer experience.
1. Browsing the Web
Your smartphone is the most endangered when you are surfing the Internet looking for cat GIFs. While Google’s own Chrome browser app is already quite secure, Firefox’s Focus escalates your privacy to whole another level. The browser is specifically designed to suppress any sort of trackers or cookies that might have an adverse impact on your security. Furthermore, it allows you to discard all the data such as history with a single click of a button. Firefox Focus is free and you can download it from this link.
Use a VPN when on Public WiFi
Public WiFis are great, right? In a way, yes. But in various cases, they can also comprise your identity in favor of a marketing survey or advertisement. Therefore, we recommend creating a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when browsing on a connection you aren’t completely confident about. The Android Play Store is swamped with free options, you can start with TunnerBear VPN.
Don’t Save Passwords in Chrome
It’s time for you to move on from HTML passwords i.e. saving them directly in your browser app of choice. This approach is largely unguarded and can lead to a critical breach especially if you’re storing information such as credit cards as well. What’s the solution? Switch to dedicated password managers. There is a range of free options to choose from unlike before. We advise setting up LastPass which is cross-platform and works flawlessly with Android.
Google has taken drastic steps towards Android’s app malware issue with features and one of these is a granular control over what your installed apps have access to. Hence, I would recommend reexamining permissions for the apps that aren’t coming from a reputed developer or are downloaded from an external source. For modifying them, head over to settings – apps or application manager – tap the app you would like to inspect and then, permissions. You can also use an app called “DCentral” for a more organized approach.
Google Play Protect
For allowing Google to scan the apps you use and installs for threats, head over to the settings app. Scroll down to Google, then “security”. There, you need to enable “scan device for security threats”. In addition to that, you can further turn on the later option as well if you’d like to be more secure.
If you use private apps such as banking, I would also suggest laying out another level of protection with an app-specific lock. There is a range of free options available in the Play Store, you should install this one as it comes with fingerprint authentication support.
3. Use Alphanumeric key + Fingerprint
Since phone makers have democratized the fingerprint scanner, it’s no longer required for you to have a shorter secondary password. Therefore, instead of a PIN or pattern, you should employ an alphanumeric key which is significantly less prone to hacks.
4. Find My Device
Next up, an anti-theft app by Google. Because, let’s face it, regardless of all these measures, there’s not much you can do to avoid thievery. However, the issue can be contained to some level with “Find My Device”. The service lets you track, wipe or lock your smartphone whenever required through a remote place. Do note that, though, for this, you need to constantly keep the internet and location turned on. If you’re willing to shed a few bucks for a relatively more advanced platform, check this out.
5. Two-Factor Authentication
Google is the nucleus of your Android phone. Hence, protecting it with the greatest level of security should be your primary concern. Two-factor authentication is one of the methods you can use for your Google account. For setting it up, head over to this link and click “get started”.
That’s about it for this article, do let us know in the comments section if we missed something.