How To Keep Your Android Phone Safe, According To Google: 4 Tips To Keep Attackers Out
In the spirit of Safer Internet Day, Google pushed out a blogpost sharing four tips on how to keep Android devices safe from attackers.
"With the amount that we do online, from working to learning, shopping to connecting, online security is a critical piece of our everyday life," says Google. "That’s why we build multiple lines of defense in Android to make the Internet safer for over a billion users."
It adds that even with these layers of protection to make certain that Android users are safeguarded from cybercriminals, it is still best to take some additional precautions to be "super safe."
Four Android Security Tips
Here is the list of security tips Android users should religiously follow to keep attackers out.
1. Use Google Play When Looking For Apps
Google highly recommends you to download and install apps straight from the Google Play Store. It notes that prior to being published on the Play Store, the apps go through extensive checking by means of an assortment of methods to ensure developers adhere to all of its policies. Should Google find apps that violate its policies, these then will be blocked from the app store and the developers may be banned.
It is likewise worth mentioning that the Android Security Team manually reviews all the suspicious apps that pose harm on users. To keep Android devices as safe as possible, Google says that the team continues to keep monitoring even after apps are downloaded.
2. Set Your Phone's Screen Lock And Enable Android Device Manager
Google also recommends that users set a screen lock. Should you lose your handset, for instance, the screen lock would prevent other people from accessing it along with the important information and files in it.
Moreover, the Android Device Manager should be activated so in case you lose your phone, you can still remotely locate, lock or wipe it. All Android devices are preloaded with this feature. To enable it, head on over to the Google Settings app underneath the Security section.
3. Make Sure Your Device Is Encrypted
Google advises Android users to make sure that their devices are encrypted. Encryption is significant as it safeguards your data by means of storing it in an unreadable form. This means that if your phone is lost, your personal information is still protected.
To activate encryption, go to the Settings menu. Look for the Security section and tap "Encrypt phone" or "Encrypt tablet" underneath Encryption. If you, however, own a Nexus 5X or a Nexus 6P, there is no need to manually set it as these phones are already encrypted by default.
4. Manage Your App Permissions
The apps you install on your Android device should not be able to access other stored data, such as your location or photos, unless you grant them permission. You need to know the permissions that you grant your apps.
If you own a device running on Android Marshmallow, you can manage the app's permissions by heading to Settings, hitting Apps and choosing an app from the list of installed apps. The list of all the permissions that the app has access to should now show up. Now, toggle on and off every single permission. If you own a device running an older operating system, a list of permissions will pop up before installing or updating an app.
There's no denying the Android OS has been susceptible to quite a few attacks and security flaws. While Google is doing its best to guarantee that Android remains safe and secure for its more than 1 billion users across the globe, it is still prudent to follow the tips Google has provided.