The Ultimate Android Security Checklist
--Tuesday, July 02, 2019
In 2018 alone, consumers purchased roughly 1.3 billion Android smartphones. Worldwide Android dominates nearly 90% of the market through extremely popular brands like Samsung, Huawei, OPPO, and many others. There’s plenty to love about Android—it’s versatile, simple, and highly customizable. With such widespread appeal, however, Android phones are a major target for hackers. So if you want your phone and data to stay safe, then follow these essential steps.
1) Secure Your Connection
The vast majority of potential threats to your Android phone are external. The internet is crawling with malware, spam, viruses, phishing scams, and more. Hackers generally prey on unsecured network connections. It’s easy for them to track IP addresses to monitor user information, gain access to login credentials, and infect targets.
The best way to protect yourself against them is by using a VPN (download one here
). A VPN or virtual private network encrypts your internet connections with the best security technology. Furthermore, it randomizes your IP address so hackers cannot follow it back to you. Finally, VPNs use additional tools such as network kill switches, which automatically shut down your internet connection, should there be a server or other error so your connection is always safe.
2) Do Your Homework on Your Apps
There are over 2.6 million apps in the Google Play Store. It has everything from games to fitness trackers and so much more. However, not all apps have the same safety features. Or in some cases, they may collect your data to sell to advertisers. Before you download an app, take a few minutes to look at reviews and search Google. In general, the more reviews an app has, the better the developer. However, make sure you don’t mistake popularity for security.
3) Check Your App Permissions
You might be surprised what types of permissions certain apps have. In some cases, it makes sense. For example, you might allow camera access to Facebook so you can upload photos. However, in many instances, certain permissions don’t make sense. In one of the most notorious cases, a range of different flashlight apps
used access to user contacts and browsing history to sell data to advertisers. Go through your apps and make sure the permissions granted are logical even for major developers.
4) Toggle on Google Play Protect
There are many great third-party apps, but Android has its own built-in monitoring system. Turn on Google Play Protect in your settings and Android will run a scan in the background and notify you of anything suspicious in any of the apps on your phone.
5) Get a Password Manager
Password Managers are one of the most popular trends in digital security right now. It’s never been easier for hackers to crack passwords. Chances are if you can remember a password easily, then hackers can crack it. With a password manager, you can take advantage of the strongest imaginable password combinations to run across all your online accounts. Moreover, you can set up notifications for any type of suspicious account activity to greatly boost your overall digital safety.
6) Use Biometric Security Features
Strong passwords are excellent tools, but biometrics are even better. Biometric technology from fingerprint scans to facial recognition technology vastly improves your phone’s security. Nowadays, you can use it on everything from unlocking your phone, to making financial transactions, and more. This technology gives you the highest level of security while increasing the convenience and accessibility of your phone.
7) Use Authenticator
Two-factor authentication is quickly becoming the standard across all online accounts. This is where you log into an account, and they send you an email or text message with a security code. Android users have the added strength of Google’s Authenticator or Authy. With Authy, you can use biometrics to further secure apps with your fingerprint or a pin. It’s more secure than two-factor authentication and gives more protection options.
The Ultimate Security Checklist
Whether you’ve just bought a new phone or looking to increase your digital security, these steps are the best way to make sure your smartphone stays safe. Make sure you protect your connection with a VPN. Check your app permissions and scan all downloads with Google Play Protect. Finally, take advantage of biometric security tools to ensure only you have access to your apps and online accounts. Through these steps, you’ll make sure your phone and your data are safe from hackers, advertisers, and anyone else trying to steal your information.