The smartphones these days have a lot on us. From our contacts and location to our favorite hangouts and passwords, we happily fed all the information to “free” services like Google and others. If you don’t know how to handle your data with these applications and devices, you can likely fall prey to scammers who are waiting for a single chance to get their hands on our valuable information. Fortunately, there are a lot of tools available within the Android ecosystem to secure our private data, and this guide will tell you how.
Use the Lock Screen
Setting a basic PIN, password, or pattern is the bare minimum one can do to add a security layer on their smartphone. Forget about malicious software or bugs, physical phone theft is more common. And if you haven’t added a screen lock with a strong password, sifting through your pictures and emails to access your data will be a cakewalk for this thief. To save yourself from such troubles, it is always a good idea to enable a lock screen. To do so, navigate to Settings > Security > Screen Lock. Select the preferred password lock type that you would like to use every time you access your phone.
You can’t underestimate the criminals these days. They are as skilled and techie as anyone else can be. They likely know how to get through a locked phone to access your files. Device encryption would be the best solution for this. Encrypting the device means, all of your files will be put into a format that can be understood only after decrypting it, which requires a proper key, or a password that only you will know. To encrypt the data on your Android, head to the Settings followed by the Security menu. Here you will find options to encrypt both the data on your smartphone and microSD card.
Find My Device
By far, Google’s Find My Phone is the best feature it can have. Using this service, you can link all your Google accounts and manage your Android devices remotely, provided you are connected to the web.
You can easily log into Find My Device through any web browser and device. Once you log in, a list of all your devices will appear with options to track their location, make them ring, or “enable lock and erase”. The Lock and Erase feature helps you to remotely lock your Android device, and erase all of the data on the device if it has been stolen.
VPN (Virtual Private Networks)
A criminal accessing your data after stealing your Android device is another thing. And those bad guys tracking what you are looking at and downloading online while your device is right in your hands is a completely different thing. Setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the best way out of this. By doing so, you won’t be communicating directly with every website that you visit.
VPN adds an extra layer of privacy by preventing your device from directly connecting at an end service. However, you should know that they don’t make you completely invisible. If someone is interested in knowing what you are up to, they can still find their way. The ExpressVPN and IP Vanish are highly recommended for better privacy and faster browsing speeds. These four were very few from the list of all possible measures that can be taken to protect privacy on Android. However, if you are the one who never gave a thought to the compromised privacy on your smartphone, these should be more than enough for a start. As a suggestion to keep your data secure on the applications and your smart devices, consider keeping location usage to a minimum, uninstall or disable unnecessary apps, keep a check on app permissions after updating them, and change your passwords at regular intervals.