10 Android Settings To Improve Your Security
8 minute(s) read
Published on: Nov 18, 2023
Updated on: Nov 18, 2023
Research shows that there are approximately 7.33 billion smartphone users in the world. Of that number, around 49%, or 3.6 billion people, use Android phones.
Today, we’ll dive into the settings that will help you keep your sensitive information safe from hackers and cyberattacks. Keep on reading!
1. Screen locks and biometric data
Smartphones contain a lot of information about our lives. This means that they’re valuable to hackers.
With this situation, let’s think of the screen locks and biometric data as a first line of defense.
When it comes to screen locks, you have a few choices: a numerical PIN, a pattern, or a password. Each has its advantages, but pick the one that is secure and that you won’t easily forget.
But aside from setting up a PIN, you can set up biometrics. Modern Android phones can have fingerprint sensors or facial recognition.
These features can help you even more if your phone is attacked. Even if hackers get the PIN right, the biometric data can stop them.
2. The “find my device” feature
Losing your phone can quickly become a nightmare, and it has been for many people. That’s why developers launched the feature “find my device.” This software is built-in, and it can track your phone’s location, help you lock it, and even erase your data.
To enable it, you have to go to your device’s settings, then scroll down to find “Google,” and then watch for the option called “Find my device.”
Once you’ve enabled it, you can:
- Ring your phone at full volume to find it if you’ve lost it somewhere, even if it’s in silent or vibrate mode. This helps you locate it quickly.
- Lock your device and leave a message to contact you if someone with good intentions finds it.
- Check the battery status if your phone has been lost or stolen, giving you a time frame for you to find it.
- Check the last known location, even if the battery dies or the phone is offline.
This is why the “find my device” feature is a powerful tool. You can still locate and protect your phone, even if it’s been stolen.
3. Managing app permissions
Apps are great, and they make our life more convenient. Nowadays, there’s an app for everything, from our banks to our dating life. Although this offers a lot of advantages, the truth is that apps are gathering data about our behavior and activity all the time.
Apps can ask for more permissions than they need, exposing our information to the wrong eyes if they’re suffering a data breach. That’s why so many users review the permissions apps have from time to time.
To manage the permissions, you have to go to your device’s settings, then apps, and then inspect the ones that you want. Only grant the necessary permissions and limit the data they can gather as much as possible.
It’s also important that you get rid of all the apps that you don’t use anymore.
4. Enable Google Play Protect
Google Play Protect can keep your phone safe by scanning the apps on your phone to detect malware and other security threats. Now, every time that you download or update an app, Google Play Protect will scan it and make sure it’s safe.
To make sure that this software is active, open the Play Store, tap the menu, and navigate to Play Protect. There, you can confirm that it is enabled.
Another advantage of this feature is that it can scan around the clock, giving you real-time protection and warning you about data breaches quickly.
5. Securing your network
While lots of people use their data to navigate the internet outside their homes, the reality is that not every phone plan is limitless. Oftentimes, we have to rely on public Wi-Fi to connect with our friends and access entertainment.
This is where the danger of public Wi-Fi services enters the game. Hackers can tap into the Wi-Fi connection and still your data, even if the connection itself is of good quality.
For staying safe, getting a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is especially advisable. Even more so if you often use public Wi-Fi. If you take advantage of the VPN Black Friday deals, you can get it at a great discount and evaluate how useful it is to you.
6. Automatically updating apps
Developers tend to release updates, now and then, that include security patches against the latest cyberthreats. To make sure that you’re always protected, one of the best options is to enable automatic app updates.
Tap on the Play Store, go to settings, and under “network preferences”, you will find the option to enable automatic app updates. Then, choose the option that works best for your needs: whether it’s using WiFi or mobile data, keeping your apps updated is smart.
7. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)
Your Google account is the backbone of your Android, and that’s why you must protect it even more than your phone itself. The two-factor authentication is a great method because it requires two steps to log in: first, your password. Then, a second verification method, like a text message or a security key.
This method is effective, and that’s why the 2FA market size is expected to increase by USD 9 billion from 2020 to 2025. If you want to enable it, you have to go to your Google Account settings, find security, and pick the 2-step verification option. Once you set it up, you’re good to go.
8. Never install apps from dodgy sources
There are a whopping 2.87 million apps available for download on the Google Play Store. It’s the most secure software to download apps because it has a vetting process to go through before an app can even be available.
Sometimes, though, you just have to install apps from a different source. In these cases, make sure to enable “unknown sources” to be able to do it, but only if it’s really necessary. So, head to your device’s settings, tap on “Privacy,” tap on “Manage,” go to “Special permissions,” and enable “Install unknown apps.”
Remember that you might be exposed to harm if you enable this option, so make sure to prioritize your safety before downloading.
9. Manage your lock screen notifications
Your lock screen can reveal sensitive information to anyone who glances at your device. If you hate this idea, you can adjust your lock screen notification settings by going to your device’s settings, tapping on “Security,” and locating “lock screen preferences.”
Thankfully, you have the choice to see all notifications, hide sensitive content, or keep everything private. Some Android phones have options to customize which apps can be displayed on the lock screen, taking into consideration your specific needs.
10. Regularly backup your data
You can be very cautious, but still, accidents can happen. Your phone can be stolen, or you might lose it or damage it without meaning to. That’s when having a backup of your data can save you. Android has an array of choices to help you do it, but Google Drive is one of the most popular ones.
Set up regular backups to be able to recover important files if you have an emergency. You can also encrypt your backups to have an extra layer of security, so even if it falls into the wrong hands, it can be protected.
To sum up
Your Android device is powerful, but it’s only as safe as you make it. If you implement these ten crucial security settings, you can forget about hackers and cyberattacks: you will know exactly what to do. Your data can be safe even in the worst-case scenario.
So, take a moment to enable these settings, and invest in your peace of mind by knowing you´re safer than ever.
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