Thursday, December 8, 2022

7 easy ways to make your Android phone more secure

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Your whole life is contained in this slab of glass in your hand. From private emails and messages to photos and videos of your most precious moments, it’s all there. However, you probably don’t spend enough time making sure your phone is set up to protect your secrets. This applies whether you have had your phone for years or have a new one. Black Friday sales.


This story originally appeared on WIRED UK.

There are many ways to think about privacy when it comes to your phone. There’s the data it collects about your actions and interests, and then there’s the safeguards you can put in place to prevent people around you from accessing the physical device. Both are important, and there are easy things you can do to improve them.

Before we get into what you can do to improve your phone, there’s Google’s sticky problem. The tech giant owns and develops the Android operating system, and it is also one of the largest collectors of personal data. The company’s business model is all about making money by getting people to click on ads, and the information you give them supports that.

So if you are looking for more privacy in the day to day actions you do on your phone, you may want to consider upgrading to iOS. However, that doesn’t mean that there is no way to improve some aspect of your phone’s privacy.

Get the basics right

Getting the fundamentals right is the first place to start. These are the things the security and privacy folks have been advocating for years and, quite possibly, these are things you already know and (hopefully) do. The first line of defense in preventing someone from entering your phone is locking the screen. A PIN code or password is better than a pattern sweep.

Beyond that you should use a password manager to create unique sign-in information for all of your online accounts and ensure that two-factor authentication is enabled for as many of these accounts as possible. Both will limit how easily someone will hack into your account using details that were previously scanned during data breaches.

Automatic software updates should be turned on to plug any bugs or security vulnerabilities into the code running by your device. For apps, this is done in the Play Store settings, under the auto update apps option. For the larger Android operating system, you need to visit the Settings app and find “system updates” (depending on the brand of phone you own, they might be in different folders). While we are talking about apps, you should also visit the privacy menu in Android settings and check the permissions you have given to each app. Chances are you can turn off location sharing and access photos and files for many apps. Now that all of those chunks are out, let’s move on to some of the meatier stuff.

Lock your apps

You have a password or PIN on your phone to prevent people from accessing it if it falls into the wrong hands. But sometimes that is not enough. There are times when you’ll want to give your unlocked phone to the people around you, showing photos to friends, for example, or giving it to your kids to play with, and you might want to consider lock the apps you want to be more secure. Unlike Apple’s iOS, Google allows apps to request permission to control other apps. This means that individual password lockable apps are possible.

To lock your apps, you will need another app. There are a lot of them available on the Android App Store, and as with all downloads, you need to be careful what you access. If an app is full of ads, doesn’t have a clear privacy policy, or isn’t from a trusted developer, you probably should avoid it. For an application locker, Norton app lock is a good place to start. This comes from a trusted security name and allows applications or individual groups to be covered by the same password.

Hide leaking notifications

Traveling isn’t much of an option for a lot of people right now, but there is nothing more mortifying than someone looking over your shoulder on public transport and seeing notifications popping up with the message. full content. It’s a feeling that also repeats when you share your screen with coworkers and a gossip-filled message about the meeting you’re in flashes.


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