22 Ways you should do to Secure your Android Smartphone
Nothing is safe, you should know that. A lot of us using Technology every second, and the most thing we use is our Smartphones, but many people ignore the risks which may harm their Smartphones, because they think it’s safe at all. Even if you keep your Smartphone safe in your pocket, it’s still at risk, so you should learn some ways to protect your Android Smartphone.
Android OS is good and you may not faced any risks before, such as Viruses, but the risks still there and you should protect your Android Smartphone. The ways that I will told you now will help you in many situations, such as Hacking, Viruses, stealing, and also will protect your privacy. These ways are simple and easy to do, but it will keep your Phone in safe, specially your personal data from being hacked or stolen.
Hackers don’t need physical access to your Android Smartphone or even any other Smartphone running with different OS, they can steal your personal information or infect your device with malware through many ways.
You may not care about losing your phone, because you think when you lose it, you will lose the phone and your contacts numbers only, but that is wrong. We’re talking about your social media accounts, personal photos, important documents, emails, messages, and your synced files. Your personal data is traceable and downloadable and maybe shared all over the Internet if you are not careful enough. I’m sure you want to keep your Android Smartphone in safe, so let’s begin exploring the ways that will help you protecting your Android Smartphone against Hacking, Viruses, Stealing, and some other risks.
1- Lock your Android Smartphone with a Password
Set a password for your phone and change it regularly to prevent others from guessing it or unlocking your phone. You may use Pattern or PIN code to lock your phone, it’s OK, but it’s low security protection. Password is stronger than Pattern and PIN code and keep in mind when you want to create a password to make it easy for you to remember hard for other to guess. Make your password combination from Upper Case, Lower Case, Numbers, and Symbols. Also don’t forget to lock your phone when you’re not using it.
2- Activate Auto-Lock
In your Android Phone’s Settings you will find in the Security options something about Auto-Lock which will make your phone Lock by itself after a period you set. You may set the period to the appropriate period for your usual use. The recommended option to set is to immediately or less time such as 5 seconds. If you select the option “immediately”, your phone will Auto-Lock after screen sleeping or after you lock your phone through power button, so you should also set the Display Sleep after less time also, such as 15 seconds of inactivity or to appropriate period for you.
In the previous point, I mentioned to Locking phone through power button, so it will make your phone locks immediately when you press on the power button. The use of this option that when you press on the power button it will instantly locks even if you’re set the period of phone locking to a long period.
4- Disable Widgets
If you are want to unlock your phone, you will see some widgets of Apps such as camera or messages on the screen to quickly open it from this screen. If you disabled widgets from your security options, you will not be able to use these Apps from unlocking screen till you enter the password or unlock the phone. The use of this is stopping anyone trying to use your phone through anyway.
5- Encrypt your Smartphone and the SD Card.
Many Android Smartphones have this feature which makes you able to encrypt all of your phone content, so every time you want to reboot your Android phone, you have to enter a PIN code or a Password to decrypt it. Also you can encrypt your phone’s SD Card to lock it also wit a Password to prevent anyone from trying to access any of your data stored on the SD Card. Go to your security options and select encrypt phone to start this process, and for SD Card encryption you can use any desktop software to do that. Before starting Phone Encryption process, make sure your phone’s battery is fully charged, and it’s recommended to plug it in the charger, because it will take some time.
6- Set up SIM Card Lock
This option will protect your SIM cards from illegal uses if you lost your phone or forget it in any place. If someone want to use it on its own phone, he will not be able to do that till unlocking the SIM card.
7- Disable “Make Passwords Visible” feature
Make Passwords Visible is an option in the security settings, and it makes you able to write the password you write before it turns into stars or dots. This feature may makes someone set next to you read your password easily and you don’t know, because the Password’s Letters is visible before turning into stars or dots, so disable this feature to prevent anyone trying to read your password when you typing it.
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8- Install Apps from a trusted source
You may downloaded any Apps before from any place out Google Play Store, but you should know that if this place or the website is unsafe or untrusted, it may harm your phone and you downloaded a Fake App or edited App. Most official App stores verify the authenticity of products, so they are much safer, so it’s recommended to install Apps only from trusted locations, specially the Apps which needs Root Access.
9- Check App’s Permission before installing it
When you installing any App from Play Store, you will see a pop up window with the App’s Permissions, so keep in mind to check and read it carefully. If the App request access to your personal information, don’t install it or deny the request. Also make sure that the permission is compatible with the App’s job, Alarm or Weather App doesn’t require a permission to read your personal messages. It’s recommended also to read the App’s description, and reviews before downloading so you understand what you are getting.
10- Update your Phone’s Firmware
Update your Phone’s Firmware to the latest Firmware update. Many phones can do it automatically and you don’t need to check every time about updates, but if have turned the option off, you will need to check for updates manually through your phone using OTA feature and installing the updates if available. Alternatively, connect your phone to your personal computer and launch the software that came with device, and it will check for updates and installing the firmware on your phone.
11- Don’t use Public Wi-Fi (Public Hotspots)
Public Wi-Fi networks is not safe as you think, because it is in a public place and you don’t know who are using it too. Many Hackers can create and set a Free hotspots (or Wi-Fi networks) for a public use, but it’s not about free services for the people, it’s about stealing your data because this Networks are fake. If you want to use it for an important something , you have to take care and don’t enter any sensitive information through this public Wi-Fi as many Information Security Experts said.
12- Don’t visit Untrusted & Unsafe websites through your phone
Many users don’t pay any attention to the website they are visiting all the time if it is a safe websites or not. On the other side there are users visiting Porn Websites from their Smartphones and Tablets, and I can tell you that your phone will be infected through many ways and you will not feel. Many unsafe and untrusted websites can install scripts or malware to your phone and most of these malwares will infect your phone and doing many thing that will lead you to flashing your phone with a new Firmware. The point is to stop visiting unsafe and untrusted websites through your phone.
13- Ignore and delete messages from Unknown Senders
Delete any text messages from unknown senders that ask for your personal information, and avoid clicking links in messages from known or unknown senders, because it maybe a trick and a trap. Some Hackers send messages that appear to be from you bank or any other trusted location to trick you. If you click the link in the message, these Hackers can steal your information or install malware on your phone. Also don’t download any Apps via text messages, because it is another way that Hackers using to infect your device.
14- Ignore and delete Spam messages
Don’t pay any attention to any Spam message, so if you received any Spam message via SMS or via Emails, ignore these messages and delete them all. Spammers will do their best to trick you to steal your information, so be smart and don’t react to any of these Spam messages to avoid any Hacking operations. The Simplest way is to ignore them.
15- Turn Off Bluetooth when you’re not using it
Many users let their phone’s Bluetooth switched on all the time, but that’s can harm your phone, because Bluetooth is one of connection methods. If you are not using Bluetooth, turn it off, and it will save your battery also. Many information security experts recommend that you turn off your Bluetooth if you’re not using it, specially when you are speaking on the phone or entering any sensitive data.
16- Don’t Save all of your passwords
Many users save their passwords of online services and websites on their phone, but do you know what does it mean to a person who got his hands on the phone. Avoid saving all of your important passwords in your device, specially when it related to banking or payment Apps.
17- Disable Auto-Complete Feature
A lot of people using a feature in their Smartphone’s keyboard called Auto-Complete which suggest some words depending on what your typing and also it’s saving the most words you’re using, so if I got your phone, I can know some words your are using always. This feature is good in sometimes, but it can store all of your passwords that you entered on your phone when this feature was enabled. Turn off this feature to avoid storing your passwords.
18- Delete Browsing Data
Try to delete your Phone’s browser data regularly after finishing the browsing. It will clean your browser, and clear unwanted websites or Traceable Cookies. Delete browser data regularly such ass cookies and history to delete unwanted browsing data.
19- Lock your Apps
This feature needs some Apps to do that, and also you can find this feature in some Antivirus Apps. Locking your Apps will prevent anyone trying to open any App on your phone. The first thing you need to lock is your phone’s settings and many people ignoring that although it is the most important thing to Lock. If someone accessed your phone’s settings, he can disable and kill the Locker App and also can uninstall it, so protect and Lock your phone’s settings, and the Lock the other Apps you don’t want anyone accessing it.
20- Create a Backup
Your phone contains many of your important data, so to keep your data secured from being lost you should create a backup for it. This will help you to restore it if you lost your phone or even if you lost the data by mistake.
21- Install a Strong Antivirus App
Some of the previous points needs an Antivirus installed on your Phone, such as point number 11 and 12. Strong Antivirus will protect your phone from many harmful things and keep it secure, it will be your phone’s Watchdog. Some Antivirus have additional features, such as App Locker, Call Blocker, Tracking Lost Phone (Anti-Theft), and many more. For me I’m using avast Antivirus for Android, it’s free, strong, and popular for millions of users. It has some good feature such as App Locker and Wi-Fi Check. You can check the Best Android Antivirus Apps through AV Test Website, which is listing the best Antivirus Apps for Android every Two months. I will suggest for you the best 10 Antivirus Apps for Android, Check them below.
- Avast Mobile Security | Google Play Download
- AVG Antivirus Free | Google Play Download
- Avira Antivirus Security | Google Play Download
- ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus | Google Play Download
- G Data Internet Security | Google Play Download
- Kaspersky Internet Security | Google Play Download
- Bitdefender Mobile Security | Google Play Download
- Norton Mobile Security | Google Play Download
- McAfee (Intel Security) Mobile Security | Google Play Download
- Trend Micro Mobile Security | Google Play Download
22- Enable Find my phone feature
Many Phones that have GPS feature can be tracked, your phone is built to be trackable via GPS. If you lost your phone you can track it and find its location through GPS. You already have a backup but you want to get your lost phone back and I hope that day that you want to track your phone never come, The catch is you have to enable GPS on your phone for it all the time to be tracked. There are many of device Tracking Apps for Android that can help you locate your lost or stolen phone, Wipe it, Lock it, and some can even turn on the GPS on your phone remotely so there is no need to turn on GPS all the time.
There are some users don’t love to enable the GPS and Location services because of their privacy, and it’s true because there are many Apps can store your locations without your permissions and violate your Privacy, so this point is up to you.
Finally I advise you to keep in mind the previous 22 ways to protect and secure your Smartphone. Smartphone is not just a phone, but it’s our personal information box, so don’t help to make it public. I hope you found this article helpful. If so ,why not share it with your Friends.