Apart from making phone calls, Android phones can perform many tasks, especially with the increasing number of available apps. However, privacy on Android phones is a huge concern for users who worry about their data leaking or being stolen. From location data to browsing history and personal details to financial information, all valuable data stored on your phone is at risk. Unless you take all the necessary measures to protect yourself.
Businesses and government agencies need our data
Surveillance performed by government agencies is no news. On the other hand, small and big businesses want our data to fine-tune their marketing activities or bombard us with targeted ads. However, the biggest concern is that our data is collected and used without our consent.
Our entire life is encapsulated within our Android phones, including emails, private messages, videos, photos, and other treasured data. However, the problem is that we often trade privacy and security for convenience. Thus, we should configure our phones to secure the stored data and online experiences we have. In addition to the digital entities attempting to snoop on us, there is also a chance that someone with physical access to your device will try to do the same. Thus, let’s see how you can stay safe regardless of the situation you are in.
Don’t ignore the basic settings
It’s imperative to get the fundamentals right, even before you spell privacy. Security experts have been harping these fixes for a long time, like setting a passcode or PIN for your device. A step further would be to install a password manager that fortifies your first line of defense for managing the online accounts. You also need to turn on two-factor authentication for all the online accounts. Additionally, you must turn on the automatic software updates for plugging security flaws or potential bugs in the code.
Check the privacy settings on your phone to see the permissions you give to each app installed. If an app seems to require more than necessary, you should revoke its privileges. For instance, a simple game has no business in learning about your contacts, seeing your gallery, or using your microphone.
At times, the PIN or passcode might fail to secure your Android phone. Thus, extra locks on the native apps are a great idea to secure your personal and financial data stored and used by the apps.
Android app store has some incredibly useful apps that allow you to lock access on your phone, but you should exercise extra caution while downloading these apps. As with all other apps, you can easily fall prey to fake app-locking tools.
Some app notifications tend to flash even when your phone is locked, and the most amusing thing is that the flash messages might reveal the entire message. This can be awkward when you’re traveling on public transport because every time a message pops up on the screen, it contains the whole message. No one wants to reveal gossip-filled messages or other secret information in public as it can lead to embarrassment.
Stalkerware refers to apps that run in the background while recording and tracking all your activities. It could be that a mischievous friend, significant other, or a family member has taken the step further to track you. Thus, a secretly installed spying app could expose your activities to the party responsible. It is crucial to find such apps and remove them. You can see red flags popping if a specific person seems to know more about you than they should. In other cases, it might be useful to just simply cross out the possibility of someone using such tools to invade your privacy.
Install a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) might not guarantee absolute security or privacy protection, but it can ward off unnecessary tracking. A VPN on Android creates a secure and encrypted connection between your phone and the internet. It routes all internet traffic through the encrypted channel and prevents online entities from keeping tabs on your digital activities. It is a step towards a more private experience online, and you should consider this option as a way to become more anonymous.
Every device you own should be protected at all times. Your Android device deserves even more attention as you will presumably use it outside your home. In addition to criminals stealing your smartphone, there are also other risks you must consider. For instance, even by connecting to a random Wi-Fi hotspot, you could expose your information to anyone willing to dig deeper. Thus, stay alert and safe to enjoy your digital experience wherever you go.