How to Protect Your Privacy on an Android Device?

20 January, 2021 Security

How to Protect Your Privacy on an Android Device?

 

In recent years, privacy has been an enormous concern for billions of users worldwide. It's no secret that our phones know almost everything about us, including where we go, who we spend our time with, and what we do for fun.

 

While that might help create a personalized online experience, some entities might partake in shady dealings, such as misusing your data or selling it. So, if you want to make it harder for prying eyes to track your online movement, here are a few tips that will help you improve your Android device privacy.

 

Use lock-screens

Your phone's lock-screen is your first line of defense. You can set it up using a pin, password, or swipe pattern to make it harder for others to access your device. You can also use biometric data to lock your devices, such as fingerprints or facial recognition. While that should be an everyday thing these days, some studies proved that nearly ⅓ of all Android users don't use lock-screens. Sure, things have probably changed since the study, but don't be one of the few users without the most basic protection.

 

If a thief steals your phone, they won't have a problem using it as their own if you don't have a lock-screen. They will also have access to all of your files, contacts, emails, and so on. If you have a banking app installed, you could even lose money. Set up a lock-screen in the settings app and also use the fingerprint scanner if your device has it.

 

Encrypt your files

Having a password-protected phone is one thing, but that won't be enough to stop hackers and skilled cybercriminals. Those who have the know-how won't have a lot of problems getting through your password. You can improve your phone's security features further with device encryption.

 

It's a process that prevents unauthorized access by requiring passwords whenever you open files or apps. You can find the encryption options within the "Settings" app, so make sure you set it up as soon as possible. It takes only a few minutes to complete, but it can make a huge difference in device security. However, note that phone encryption is not easy to reverse. You might need to complete a factory reset.

 

Find My Device

You have probably heard of the feature called Find My Device, or Google's version dubbed Find My Phone. In short, once you log into your device using your Google account, you can track its location remotely, as long as the device is on.

 

All you have to do is type Find My Device into google and follow the steps on the screen. If your phone gets stolen, you will be able to see where it is in real-time. Not only that, but you will also be able to lock the device and erase all data too. You can find the option within "Google Settings."

 

Pick a better password

Most Android owners who experience some type of data theft can only blame their weak passwords. That's why you should avoid using common passwords such as qwerty, 1234567 numbers, birthdays, and so on.

 

The best thing to do is mix letters and numbers and make the password at least eight characters long, preferably more. If you want to be extra careful, you can even set up multiple passwords for better security. Just remember to write them all down, or you could end up locked out of your device.

 

Get a Virtual Private Network

A Virtual Private Network or VPN is one of the most popular tools of improving online security. It's a handy option for preventing cybercriminals, ISPs, and other intrusive entities from retrieving information about your browsing habits and geolocation. A VPN for Android devices will present you with a range of server options. Hence, you can reroute your traffic through any server you choose. Besides elevated privacy and security, VPNs are great for battling geo-blocks, censorship, and slow internet speeds.

 

Anti-virus Apps

Even with all of these security features set up, some files you open or download can contain viruses or malware that can create enormous problems for your device. Since you probably won't be able to figure out which files are infected and which ones are safe, you should install an antivirus app and scan your device every few days. If a malicious file appears, the software will detect and delete it before any real damage is done.

 

The Bottom Line

Cybersecurity should be of your most significant concern every time you connect online. Most people think that they're not targets until they realize someone else is using their private information. By combining all methods above, you can make sure that criminals have a tough time stealing your information. Good luck!

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