Smartphones have advanced to a great extent. Due to the popularity and usefulness of smartphones, we tend to use these devices all the time. In fact, it can be said that smartphones are our online identity and any wrongdoing involving the device is a massive threat, be it theft or hacking.
In case you aren't careful with your smartphone and lose it, you will lose more than just your contacts, photos, and messages. Well, we say this as your smartphone is the door to your social media accounts, synced files, emails, messages, photos, and important documents.
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Not only with losing your phone, if you aren't careful in using it, you might fall prey to hacking that will make your details prone to tracing, download, and sharing on the internet. There are a lot of people who are interested in messing around with others' personal information, leaving morale aside. To keep your Android smartphone secure from hackers, you need to follow a few tips that we have mentioned here.
Use a screen lock or pattern
It is important to setup your lock screen as it is the simplest tip that will keep your device secure even if it falls into the wrong hands. You can setup the lock screen security with a pattern lock, PIN lock or password lock in most cases. If your phone has a fingerprint sensor or an iris scanner, you can use the same as well to safeguard your personal information. Just dig into the security menu of your device to setup the lock screen.
Encrypt your device
As you know, encryption is a process of encoding your data on a device so that the same cannot be read by any unauthorized person. The data stored on an encrypted Android smartphone will also be encrypted automatically. For you, the decrypting process will happen automatically. There are two ways to encrypt an Android device. The first one is full disk encryption on Android 5.0 Lollipop and above. The other one is file-based encryption on Android 7.0 Nougat and above.
Android Nougat lets different files to be encrypted with various keys that can be independently unlocked. With the Direct Boot feature, the devices can boot right out of the lock screen, enabling quick access to vital features such as alarms and accessibility services.
Manage app permissions
Google Play lets you control the permissions that you grant to an app before you install the same on your phone or tab. Very often, apps need access to unrelated facilities on your phone. For instance, games might want permission to view your contacts to let you compete against your friends playing the same game. If you think of no logical reason for the app to need a specific permission, it is better to not install the same. Right from Android Marshmallow, the Android users have the ability to manage the app permissions. You can take control of app permissions from the Settings menu.
Lock sensitive apps individually
Despite a screen lock, you can add another layer of protection to your apps, especially the ones that carry sensitive and personal details by locking them individually. There are a number of such apps such as App Lock that will keep your details secure from the prying eyes, even if the intruder gets to surpass the screen lock.
Rely only on Google Play
The Google Play store is a secure place to download apps on your Android device. Make sure you don't use other third-party sources to download and install apps. By default, you cannot sideload apps from other sources, but from Settings → Security → Device Administration, you can enable it. Google doesn't have control over apps outside the Play Store. If you are sideloading apps, make sure you do it from trusted sources. It is better not to sideload apps to stay safe.
Enable two-factor authentication
The two-factor authentication process needs two authentication steps such as two password, PIN or fingerprints to access your data. This is a securing method that works on many services such as online banking platforms. It also works with social media platforms and Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn already have this feature. You can enable this security method to stay safe by securing your Android device.