10 Ways to Preserve Your Privacy on Android Devices

The Android operating system has made possible an incredible range of options for mobile devices. It’s an open-source project that’s bundled with proprietary changes when you get it on your mobile device. Some of these changes add to tracking, logging, and advertising.

These extras can impact your ability to be private and protect your personal data. There’s no need to worry, though, we’ve got a few tips for you that can help you easily keep your private data private.

Lock Your Device

If your phone ever gets lost or stolen, you don’t want to make it easy for thieves to get into your personal data. Make sure you use a PIN or password to lock your device. You can also choose to encrypt your device by going to the Security tab under your Settings.

Maintain Current Updates

Whenever there is a software update, it’s a good practice to install it as soon as possible. Many times, software manufacturers provide patches and fixed when security flaws are exposed. The longer you wait to update your software – whether it’s your Android operating system or an app – the greater than chance hackers can find a way in.

Control Which Data Gets Saved

With Google, you can choose to have your activity delete automatically. Go to your Google Web & App Activity settings or at this Google web page and change the setting to delete data whenever you exit Google services, such as Maps, Search, and the Google Play store. You can choose to keep data until you manually delete it (the default option) or you can choose to keep data for 3 months or 18 months before deleting.

Control Which Apps You Install

If you are using third-party app stores that aren’t part of Google Play, things may be perfectly fine. But, you may also be taking a risk. If you want to disable the ability to download from unknown sources, you can also do so under Settings > Security > Unknown Sources.

Just because you install an App from the Google Play store doesn’t mean it’s safe. Millions of apps leak personally identifiable information. In fact, the number of apps Google suspended from the store for violations increased by more than 60% last year.

Control App Permissions

During install, apps will ask for permission to access certain features including photos, camera, microphone, or location. They may ask for permission to store and share personal data. Be careful about what you allow and understand how the data will be used.

You can change or update setting at any time by searching for Apps under Settings and changing permissions.

Use The Internet Securely

Anytime you access the internet, you are sharing data and potentially exposing yourself to malicious acts. This is especially true if you are using public Wi-Fi. Check the security settings on your browser and select the highest privacy settings you can.

You should also employ a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN encrypts your data before anything is sent over the public internet and creates a private tunnel to the VPN server. The server acts as a secure intermediary before any data is passed back and forth from your device to a website. Compare the best VPNs carefully, though, as some solutions work better than others. Most free versions you find the Google Play store won’t have the features you need.

Other Privacy And Security Measures

Here are some other things you may want to consider:

  1. Limit what data is synced with the cloud in apps
  2. Settings > Accounts > Apps

  3. Hide notifications on the lock screen to stop prying eyes
  4. Settings > Sounds & Notifications

  5. Turn off Location Tracking
  6. Settings > Apps > App Permissions > Location

  7. Turn Off Google Location Tracking
  8. Settings > Location > Google Location History