Over recent years, the introduction of smartphones has morphed into an integrated part of our lives. There is so much that is personal that we go through or even store on our smartphones. Thus, with that comes the issue of privacy. Smartphones such as Android phones can sometimes really put your privacy in jeopardy.
This concern doesn’t start from afar. The same developers of your Android operating system may be the perpetrators. Google is also popular as a tool for data collection. And through your Android operating system, several details such as your location, commonly visited websites, and Google services can easily track emailing.
However, this shouldn’t be a threatening concern for you. As much as Google can invade privacy and collect your data and trends, there is also a way to bypass and avoid the consistency of this occurrence. The most important of all practices that ensure you are safe is to permanently turn off everything – almost every App on your phone.
Protecting Your Smartphone
There are vulnerabilities all around us. Your smartphone is always at risk of invasion and malware threats. Thus, avoiding connecting your Android phone to unknown public WiFi is one way to go. Bluetooth and computers are excellent malware hosts like a public WiFi connection. Thus, never leave your Bluetooth activated, and avoid as much as you can to connect your phone to a computer.
If you are not using a service or app on your phone, the safe bet is to turn it off. An underrated idea as it may be, getting malware protection for your Android phone is also essential. There are many existing guides available online on how to remove malware. Though you can follow guides to remove Android malware, protection from malicious content is a must in the first place.
Limit Your Virtual Interaction With Google
As an Android smartphone owner, you are always vulnerable to Google’s data collection activities. However, you can limit this interaction. As much as Google ascertains its commitment to privacy, this is not the case. And you can avoid this intrusion. Simply follow these unpopular (for a reason) steps by customizing your “activity control” in your settings. Additionally, using the phone without signing into your Google account limits the invasion of privacy as much as it limits your activities on your phone.
Setup A Pin And Hide Your Data
Always set up a personal identification number (PIN) on your phone. This prevents intrusion from anyone, even if you lose your phone or it is stolen. Choosing a pin over facial recognition or biometric fingerprinting offers a more traditional and “safer” route to protect your data, even from Google. Encrypting your phone takes its security to a whole new level.
Remember your pin because you risk losing all your data if you don’t. You can also hide your notifications to protect yourself. You never know in what hands your device may fall. Thus, hiding your notifications goes a long way to keeping your data, such as notifications, contacts, and messaging, hidden. Simply go to the sound and notifications settings to turn off notifications.
Consistent Software Update
Consistent software update of your Android smartphone is significant to keep the security of your phone current. As much as manufacturers and developers work to improve the security of your mobile devices, so do hackers to find more innovative ways to invade and spread malware.
Thus, updating your phone helps you to keep up to date with more advanced gimmicks and tricks to invade your devices or infect them with malware. On your Android phone, simply go to “settings,” then “about the phone,” and to “system update” to make your phone system current.
Never Trust Unknown Sources
Inherited from Linux, Android works by only allowing you to download or install Apps and programs from sources that its developers have vetted. Your Android phone comes with pre-settings that don’t enable unknown sources. This ensures you are always safe, especially from malicious sources and programs.
However, your Android device occasionally lets you download and install programs and apps from unknown sources. This process will only be allowed if you permit Google to enable unknown sources. This may be detrimental to the security of devices and data. Thus, always pay attention and avoid permitting and enabling sources you are unsure of.
Simply taking the time to check permissions on Apps also goes a long way. Reading through may take several moments, but this ensures your device is always safe. To also keep you safe, google has evolved its App permission system.
For example, a specific app you are downloading will only be allowed to access your location only if the App uses this feature. Furthermore, as usual, your instincts and knowledge are essential. Do permissions sit well with you? Do you notice anything dubious? These are all signs that your App’s source may not be trustworthy.
Don’t Share Too Much
As much as you want to share your location with your Uber app, it is not always safe. Sure, some Apps may become virtually useless without the location feature. Yet, this feature may sometimes be detrimental to your Android phone security. Thus, before turning on essential features such as your location, always gauge the necessity ad safety concern involved.
You can ensure that your Android phone is safe in several integrative ways. Two-Factor authentication, for once, is perhaps one of the most effective ways to fortify your phone’s security. Developing a habit of reviewing your Apps and phone security is also very helpful.
Gauge and be aware of what is going on with your Google syncing, review your default Apps, use a VPN to encrypt your activities, and secure email providers are one way to go. Even avoiding using Google Search on your Android device is a safe bet. You are logged in to your Google account, meaning that all your search patterns are tracked and recorded by Google.
Share this article
About the Author
Rebecca James is an IT consultant with forward thinking approach toward developing IT infrastructures of SMEs. She writes to engage with individuals and raise awareness of digital security, privacy, and better IT infrastructure.More from Rebecca James
13 Mobile Security Threats And How To Prevent Them
With the advent of smartphones, mobile devices have slowly become an integral part of our lives. Mob...
Top Fake Security Alerts Cost Mac User Big Bucks & Identity Theft
Macs are secure compared to Windows devices. But it is a great misconception that Mac users don̵...
How Can Your USB Device Pose Security Risks to You
A Universal Serial Bus – USB device is a helpful external data storage device. It includes a f...
How to Tell if Your Phone Has Been Hacked | 12 Signs
With the changing security landscape, smartphones have become more of a curse than a blessing. Mobil...