Android is the most widely used operating system in the world as of today, and we don’t see that going anywhere anytime soon. One of the biggest advantages of this OS is the flexibility it brings on board as well as functionality.
With this flexibility, though, comes vulnerability. A lot of areas need patching up to maximize security, and here are some security tips and features to consider.
Internal Security Features
Your Android device is not a piece of helpless software from the company that developed it (read: Google), and we are glad to show you how you can use some of that to your advantage.
1. Screen Pinning
From Android 6 Marshmallow and above, there comes a feature with every Android smartphone that allows them to lock a single app to the screen. This is important for when you want to hand your phone to someone and would not like them to see other files/ apps on it.
By simply pinning that screen, third party users would need to know your password to get out of that lock at all.
2. Google Play Protect
We will talk about how important Google Play is for protection in a minute. Before that, though, how about we look at how the malware scan feature protects you too?
Sometimes, the apps you install could contain some malicious codes that you didn’t even know existed at all. The function of Google Play Protect is to find such apps for you and let you know so that you can uninstall them immediately.
3. Third Party Apps
Google is flexible, but it also knows that apps from third-party sources could be used to invade your privacy and steal your information. That is why the system is set to prevent the installation of apps outside the Play Store by default.
This works well because Google has overseen the apps that got accepted to the Play Store, ensuring they don’t contain any of the codes that they are fighting against. Thus, circumventing this by side-loading apps could leave you more exposed than normal.
4. Device lock security
This should have been our first point of call. Although not limited to Android devices alone, the device lock feature is not a mere formality. It is there for you to keep people who have no business with your data out of it before it becomes an issue at all.
Thanks to advancement in technology and improvement of the Google flavors, you can even add additional bio-metrics (fingerprint scanner and facial unlock) to secure your data better.
5. Lock-down Mode
One of the biggest security features that Google has added in recent years is the lock-down mode for Android 9 Pie, and we love it so far. It is the best way to ensure no one can have access to your device if you don’t want them to, and they can’t force your hand too – quite literally.
Holding down the power button for a couple of seconds should bring up the option to enter Lock-down Mode. Once in, the fingerprint scanner is turned off so no one can make you unlock the phone against your will, all notifications are cleared from the main screen and Smart Lock is disabled.
Everything will stay this way till you manually unlock the phone again.
External Security Features
Google has done their best, but they can’t have everything covered from the get-go. That is why you should go the extra mile to keep your units secure. You can do that by a combination of the following steps:
1. Updating Your Phone and Apps
Updates usually bring one of many things, but it is usually improvement and a patch meant to fix a vulnerability or quash some bugs. That means the developers of the software have found something which could be exploited, and they have worked on an update to fix it.
It needs no telling that if you don’t comply with the update, you will be left at the mercy of whatever hack can be perpetrated with such a vulnerability.
2. Installing a VPN
Some Android data and security problems are based online rather than offline. Some of these problems are browser fingerprinting, data tracking and monitoring, and so much more.
These are all serious issues that could wipe out your accounts or put your personal life out there in a minute. If you are also worried about such problems, a VPN for Android OS is the solution.
Coming with tons of servers from all around the world, they help obfuscate your data so much that anyone looking in from the outside can either not see what is going on with your traffic, or can’t even personally identify it with you.
That’s how you keep your Android smartphone secure and private in 2019, Elites.
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