How to secure your Android phone: It is worthy to let you know that Android phones are always under constant attack and older versions are far more vulnerable than new ones. Way too many smartphone vendors still do not issue Google’s monthly Android security patches in a timely fashion, or at all.
In this post, I have brought to you some ways to keep you and your Android devices safe from malicious attackers. Many of these are pretty simple, but I believe that security is really more about doing safe things every time than fancy complicated security tricks.
How to secure your Android phone
Only buy smartphones from vendors who release Android patches quickly.
I recommend buying Google phones. There were many reasons for this, but number one with a bullet is that Google makes sure its smartphones, such as the Pixel, the Pixel 2, Nexus 5X, and 6P get the freshest updates. This means they get the newest security patches as they are released.
Lock your phone.
As simple as this method is, people still do not do it, trust me. There is a tendency that you are more likely to get into trouble by a pick pocket snatching your phone and running wild with your credit card accounts than you are from malware.
Looking for the best way to lock your phone? The good old PIN remains the safest way. Fingerprints, patterns, voice recognition, iris scanning etc. are all more breakable than the traditional PIN. Embrace this feature to secure your Android phone.
Using Two-factor Authentication.
As you are securing your phone, you may need to lock down your Google services as well. The best way to do this is with Google’s own two-factor authentication.
Login-in to your Google account and go to the two-step verification settings page. Once there, choose “Using 2-step verification” from the menu. From there, follow the command prompts. You will be asked for your phone number. You can get verification codes by voice or SMS on your phone. After some seconds, you will get a call with your verification number. You then enter the code into your web browser’s data entry box. Your device will then ask whether you want it to remember the computer you are using. If you answer, “yes” that programs will be authorized for use for 30-days. Finally, you turn on 2-step verification and you are done.
In other way round, you can make this even simpler by using Google Prompt. With this you can authorize Google applications by simply entering “yes” when prompted on your phone.
Only use applications that are from the Google Play Store.
It is well known that the majority of Android malware comes from unreliable third party application sources. For sure, applications make it into the Google Play Store from time to time, but they are exception, not the rule.
Google has also continued working on making its popular Play Store safer than ever. For instance, Google Play Protect can automatically scan your Android device for malware when you install programs. Make sure it is on by going to Settings > Security > Play Protect. To maintain maximum security, click full scanning and “Scan device for security threats”.
Using device encryption.
If the idea that the next person who wants to snoop in your phone may not be a crook, but a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent, comes to you, you can put a road block in their way with encryption. That may land you in hot water with Homeland Security. Luckily, the CBP also states that “border searches conducted by CBP do not extend to information that is located solely on remote servers”. So, your data may actually be safer in the cloud in this instance.
Wants to encrypt your device, go to Settings > Security > Encrypt Device and follow the prompts.
Using a Virtual Private Network.
If you are on the road, whether it is your local coffee shop or the remote office, you are going to want to use free Wi-Fi. We all take big chances when we do this, since they tend to be as secure as a net built out of thread. However, to make yourself safer you will want to use a mobile Virtual Private Network (VPN).
In my recommendation, the best of these are; F-Secure Freedome VPN, KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, NordVPN, Private Internet Access, and TorGuard. What you will not want to do, no matter how tempted you may be, is to use a free Virtual Private Network service.
Using Password Management Programs to secure your Android phone
When it comes to passwords, you have a hand full of choices; use the same password for everything, write down your passwords on paper, which is not as bad an idea as it sounds so long as you do not put them on a sticky note on your PC screen, memorize all your passwords or use a password management program.
Google comes with one built-in password management program, but if you do not want to put all your security in one cloud basket, you can use other mobile password management programs. Some of the best of this programs are; LastPass, Dashlane and 1Password.
Using anti-virus software to secure your Android phone
When it comes to malware protection I believe it is using a belt and suspenders. For my anti-virus suspenders, I use Germany’s AV-TEST, an independent malware detection lab, results as my guide.
So, the best freeware program today is Avast Mobile Security & Antivirus. It has some other security features, like its phone tracker, though it does not work that well, but it is good at finding and deleting malware. One of the best free anti-virus software is Norton Mobile Security. All its components work well, then if you elect to go for the full package that will also be ok.
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