Today’s guest post comes from Kk Ezekiel of Techzillo
This has been edited for formatting, threw in some pictures, and nothing else.
6 Ways to Secure Your Android Device
You come across news of ransomware attacks, data leaks, and privacy breaches every other day now. So it’s not surprising if you’re wondering how to secure your Android devices. Well if you’re willing to take some steps, you can tighten up the security of your Android smartphone.
Today I’m going to show you how you can secure your Android device against malware or ransomware while securing your data and privacy.
Let’s get started…
Use Google Play Protect
Let’s start off by talking about how you can secure your Android device against malware or ransomware attacks. Well, the good news is, Google offers a few security features in Android itself. In fact, they rolled out the Google Play protect feature for all Android devices running Google Play services version 11 or above.
Google Play protect is the security feature in Android available in settings > Google > security. It scans the apps on your device to make sure there aren’t any security threats. If you want to improve your security further, you should enable the ‘improve harmful app detection’ feature because it lets play protect scan unknown apps installed on sources other than the Play Store for better detection of any malicious codes.
Let me be honest here, the best way to protect your Android device against malware or ransomware attacks is through common sense. Just don’t open any suspicious links or emails and don’t download apps or any other content from a not so reliable source. If you follow this, you should have no problems at all. Also, make sure to install the latest software updates available for your device because it might feature a security patch for the latest malware or ransomware out there.
Encrypt Your Device
Along with securing your Android device against malware or ransomware attacks, you should also secure your data – you must be thinking that you’re a casual user and you do not have any sensitive data on your phone, well trust me you do have important data on your phone. Thankfully, Android offers some really cool features to secure your data. First up I believe you should encrypt your device. While Google devices and other high-end devices are encrypted out of the box, it’s not enabled on all phones out there. You can head to settings > security > tap on the encrypt phone option.
This option encrypts your accounts, settings, downloaded apps, app data, media, and other files. Once your device is encrypted and you have set up a screen lock on your phone, your data will only be decrypted when you enter the pin, password, or pattern. You must be thinking how that is different from your regular pin or password protection. Well, the data saved on an Android device can still be accessed through various tools, even if you have set up a lock. On the other hand, if you have encrypted your Android device, your data will only be accessed if you enter a pin, passcode, or pattern.
Before you encrypt your device, you need to know that this might slow down your phone just a bit and you cannot disable encryption without doing a factory data reset. What you can do is, you can use the adaptable storage feature in Android that lets you add external SD cards as part of the internal storage. This encrypts the SD card storage while also making it way more secure.
Lock Your Device Properly
While securing your Android device against malware and securing your data is important, securing your privacy is also very important. First of all, I suggest you lock up your phone properly. If your device has a fingerprint scanner, that should be good enough. Otherwise, you should use the pattern lock option because that’s the most secure out of the locks, plus you can make patterns invisible so no one can notice the pattern you’re using.
I’d also suggest you disable smart lock because even though it’s a handy feature, it unlocks your phone automatically in some situations which might result in someone taking your phone and getting through your privacy, not so smart is it.
Make sure to create a separate user account so that you can hand over your phone to anyone without worrying about the privacy. So when a friend asks for your phone to take a picture or to make a call, you just switch user accounts quickly and hand them the phone, no worries at all.
Enable Two-Step Verification
You should also make sure to enable 2-step verification in your different accounts. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Google, almost every service out there supports 2-step verification. This will make sure that you always have control of your accounts and you can never get hacked. To make the process easier, you can use apps like Google Authenticator.
Other than that you should go to Google security check-up page to keep a check on the devices that you are logged into. Here you can also check out the permissions different apps and services are taking from your Google account.
Install an anti-virus App
While those are some native ways to secure your Android device, there are some third-party apps that let you secure your device even further, and no I’m not talking about anti-virus apps. For instance, you can use the privacy guard app to make sure anyone trying to peep into your phone isn’t successful. The app brings a shade on your screen and you can configure the shade to make sure your chats, emails, and sensitive data is hidden from onlookers. It’s a very handy app indeed.
You should also use a VPN app like Express VPN to make sure you’re secure when using your phone on a public Wi-Fi network. Since anyone on a public Wi-Fi network can try and get access to your data. With the VPN app, you can access your log content and do a lot more.
If you’re someone who has a habit of losing phones, you can install an anti-theft app like Cerberus which brings a ton of features, it has the usual lock located wipe and ring creatures. But other than that, the app lets you take pictures and record videos to identify a thief and it also lets you look at location history, network information, the ability to start a remote shell to execute commands, and a lot more. All of this remotely using Cerberus’s website.
Use an App Locker
Lastly, I recommend you use an app Locker to protect your apps. You can install an app like KYMS which lets you hide, password protect, and encrypt all kinds of files like documents, photos, and videos. Basically, you can lock down files, and unlike many other similar apps, the app is smooth and decrypt your files instantly.
Those are some ways to secure your Android device. I’m pretty sure using these methods will secure your device against malware or ransom attacks while also securing your privacy. So try them out and let me know if you have any doubts in the comment section.