Android is a great mobile operating system but, if you’re not careful, it can expose you to all kinds of dangers (like any tech stuff out there). Here are some things you need to keep in mind in order to make sure your Android device is secure.
1. Install an Anti-Malware App
This goes without saying. The more popular an operating system gets, the more it will become prone to malware, because a lot of users translate to a lot of potential victims. However, there are solutions. Some great Android anti-malware apps are available in the Google Play Store, offering some great security features. I personally favor Lookout Mobile Security and Avast when it comes to free anti-malware apps, but there are a few more good ones out there. Just don’t leave your device unprotected!
2. Set A Screen Lock on Your Device
I can’t stress how important this is. Even if you’re able to locate your device or wipe the data on it (using Android Device Manager), using a lock screen passcode will make sure that, should your phone end up in the wrong hands, the person having it is unable to access your data. It’s surprising how many devices we see out there where the user has neglected to set up the lock screen. In fact, the HTC One (M8) — the current Cadillac of HTC Android phones, doesn’t ask you for one when you’re first setting up the phone. This is the first line of security for your device, and whether it’s keeping prying eyes out of your device, or making sure the kids can’t get into it, it’s arguably the most important security feature to enable first. Setting up a screen lock is real easy, so do it right now if you haven’t already.
3. Encrypt Your Device
If you store sensitive information on your phone or tablet, this is one of the best ways to keep said data out of the wrong hands. After encryption, your data will be stored in a “scrambled” format and only inputting a code or password will decrypt it. The process itself is not complicated, but keep in mind that you’ll have to reset your tablet or smartphone to factory settings in order to get rid of it. Also, an encrypted device can take a little longer to start and can hider performance a slight bit.
4. Don’t Allow Apps from Unknown Sources (Unless Rooting or Sideloading)
If your phone isn’t rooted and you’re not sideloading apps to it, there’s not much of a reason why you would allow the installation of apps from unknown sources on it. You never know what you can come across when browsing the web, so the setting should be disabled on most occasions. Also, if you’re using an alternate app store, I suggest turning the feature on before buying or downloading apps from it, then turning it back off, just in case.
5. Turn Off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth When Not In Use
You never know what could get into your phone via an unsafe Wi-Fi network. Apart from that, keeping Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on at all times only drains your phone’s battery faster. Of course, you can always turn WiFi off yourself whenever you feel like it, but there is a way to do it automatically, called WiFi Scheduler.
Keep Your Android Safe!
These are some of the actions we suggest you take in order to keep your Android device secure. However, if you think there are other essential things to do, make sure you tell us in a comment.