If you are looking to stay safe and secure while using your Android then there are abundant security features available on your device, along with certain applications available for download that you should absolutely be taking advantage of. These days, with all the private data and sensitive personal information we store on our devices, it is getting more and more important that we take substantive and prudent steps towards protecting our digital security and minimizing our chances of being affected by various cyber threats. In this article, we will take a look at a few of the most important security features for you to consider enabling on your Android device to protect your privacy, as well as third-party applications you can use to greatly enhance your overall security.
Enable Multi-Factor Authorization
True, when you enable multi-factor authorization on your device, you are adding an extra step to the sign-in process. But if you really want to make sure your Android device is properly secured, enabling multi-factor authorization on your Google account is a must. Doing so will help prevent any unauthorized access to the sensitive data stored on your device or in your Google account. This is especially important if you use and store data on multiple different Google services.
Enable the “Find My Device’ Feature
This feature can be a lifesaver, whether you simply misplace your Android device at home under a couch cushion, or if you lose it in public without any hope of getting it back. “Find My Device”, as the name implies, is a feature that helps you zero in on the location of your device should it somehow go MIA. Not only can you make your device ring by accessing the feature from your Google account on a different computer or device, but you can also pinpoint its exact location and even remotely lock it down or, in extreme cases, wipe it completely clean to protect your data should anyone get ahold of your lost device.
Use a Strong Screen Lock
This should go without saying, but you should absolutely use a screen lock that is unique and difficult to guess to ensure only you have the ability to access the contents of your device. This is essentially your first line of defense in securing your device from unauthorized access. While you’re at it, make sure to set your lock screen preferences to control which app notifications get displayed on your lock screen even when your phone is locked. Additionally, with the “Smart Lock” feature, you can set your device to automatically lock based on your location.
Use “Safe Browsing” Mode
As long as you are using the default Chrome browser on your Android device, safe browsing mode is automatically enabled. This feature is simple, yet very effective at helping you avoid falling victim to a malicious cyberattack. Safe browsing mode quickly scans websites you visit on your device and will automatically warn you if it detects a specific site as being suspicious in any way, or if you attempt to download a dangerous file online.
Set Reasonable App Permissions
Does that handy flashlight app you downloaded really need access to your contact list, your camera, your microphone, and your precise location? No. The answer to that will always be a hard and unequivocal, “No”. It is important to take a few minutes to set your app permissions to make sure that the apps on your Android device are only permitted to access the features on your device that are expressly necessary for the proper functioning of the app. Some apps may request unnecessary levels of permission simply for their own data collection purposes, without considering the best security interests of you as the user. Do not fall into that trap. It is reasonable for the Skype app to request permission to access your camera and microphone. A crossword puzzle app requesting permission to access your photos and browsing history, however, is not so reasonable.
Use a Virtual Private Network
A virtual private network, or VPN, is an essential online privacy tool that fully encrypts all of your internet traffic, keeping your privacy intact and your security protected as long as you have it running on your device. A VPN sends all of your internet traffic through an encrypted “tunnel”, connecting you to the internet through a secure remote server, effectively hiding your online activity, communications, and sensitive personal data from hackers, government surveillance, and even your internet service provider. It may sound complicated on the surface, but VPN apps are actually extremely simple for anyone to download and use. You’ll want to take a look at these Android VPN apps to learn more about what a great tool they can be for securing your privacy while using your Android device.
The best part about all of this is that it is incredibly simple to ensure you are safe and secure while using your Android device. In addition to benefitting from Android’s default built-in encryption feature which automatically encrypts all of your sensitive data, and its “Google Play Protect” feature that is constantly scanning and protecting you from malicious apps, taking advantage of the security features and apps listed above will certainly go a long way in helping you keep your privacy and your digital security properly protected.