Not sure about the security of your Android Phone? All phones, no matter which Os they use, have security vulnerabilities. Even Apples ios version 11 released earlier this year was cracked the very first day it was released.
Android is also being constantly tried for vulnerabilities especially older versions which have way more weaknesses than the newer versions. All too often smartphone suppliers don’t send the monthly security patch from google on time which can lead to Zero-day attacks.
Is there anything you can do to protect your phone?
There are quite a few steps you can take to secure your Android smartphone or device from hackers. Whilst most of these things are fairly simple to do, it is still surprising how few people take the time to do them. Below are my ten security tips to protect yourself.
1) Lock your phone and manage your passwords.
It seems obvious but many people still forget to do it. A pin code is still one of the best ways to lock your phone and currently more secure than pattern locking, fingerprints, voice etc. There are even Android lock screen apps that allow you to design your own individual lock screens. It is way easier for someone who has your unlocked phone to get a lot of your personal and financial information. A phone snatcher could do a lot more damage than most viruses or malware out there know, it’s so simple.
It also a good idea to use different strong alpha numeric passwords for your files and logins. For ways to remember them your options are 1. store them offline on paper ( which is statistically more secure than you think ) “. Use androids built in password management 3. Use a third party password management such as Lastpass or Applock
2) Get your smartphone from a vendor who releases Android security patches quickly.
Google itself is the fastest so phones like the Pixel and Nexus will usually get the patches as soon as they are released. LG, Motorola and Htc also score fairly highly when it comes to timely releasing the patches, much better in fact than the likes of Samsung or Oneplus.
3) Use 2FA
Googles two factor authentication is a great way to secure your google apps.
How to use googles 2fa:-
- Login to your google account
- Go to the 2fa settings page
- Enter your phone number
- You can choose a voice call or text for verification
- Enter the verification number given in the box provided on your browser
And that is it, you are good to go.
4) Uninstall apps you do not use.
Apps bring their own security problems. Whilst a lot of developers are good at updating their apps, some don’t, which can open you up to security problems. Some apps require way more permissions and access to your phone than they need. A good example of that were a lot of flashlight apps requiring way more permissions than they needed to operate. One of these flashlight apps even had a banking trojan to steal you bank passwords. The fewer apps you have the fewer avenues a hacker will have to attack your device
5) Download your apps only from Google Play Store.
Whilst google Play Store isn’t infallible they do check apps for malware and they are continually trying to improve their screening of apps available
Make sure you have downloading apps from unknown sources turned off on your phone.
6) Encrypt your device
Encrypting your device will stop someone opening your files if they do manage to get access to them. To encrypt your android device just follow these simple steps in our guide. It is also useful to use an app locker in case someone does get their hands on your device
6. Use a Virtual Private Network.
When you are traveling or even just when you are out and about it is often handy to connect to free wifi hotspots rather than using your data allowance on your phone. When you connect to public wifi the chances of having your information intercepted are greatly increased as nearly anyone can do with just a few cheap items from their local Radioshack. Using a VPN will protect the data transfer between your device and the net by creating a secure tunnel between your device and their servers. Most VPN services will encrypt your data also. You can read more about VPN services with strongest encryption here.
8. Keep your phone with you
Not all malicious software is introduced to your phone via hacking or apps. Sometimes software can be added to your phone by someone you know to monitor your activity. An example of such software are spy apps. Some of the best spy apps for android are Flexispy and mSpy but most need physical access to your phone or jailbreaking to install.
9. Install an anti-virus software.
10. Turn off bluetooth and wifi connections when you aren’t using them.
Having live connections is one of the ways your device can be targeted. If you are not using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, save some battery life and turn them off. Whilst Android fixed the vulnerability that allowed the Blueborne Bluetooth hacks, there are always new hacks being created, it is better to be safe than sorry.