How to Better Secure Your Android Device
Android devices are great, but they aren’t always the most naturally secure products on the market. The vast majority of mobile malware is developed for Android, as malware creators think they can get the most off of the large base of Android users. They also have many of the same problems as other smartphones, and many people aren’t even aware they are in danger.
What exacerbates the situation is that smartphones contain so much vital data and have automatic access to so many of our accounts that even a moderately skilled hacker could steal someone’s identity with nothing but their smartphone and a few hours to mess with it. Remote infiltrations are becoming easier, and people need to be aware of the dangers of unprotected smartphone usage.
That being said, Android phones have tools they can use and their users have habits they can learn to protect their phones. Here are some of the main things you should know:
Use a Virtual Private Network
One of the greatest dangers you need to worry about when using your Android device are unprotected public networks. Hackers love to use a simple setup to intercept data of people using public networks. They could be sitting down sipping tea and at the same time be taking your credit card information. Normal defenses don’t work, and no data you send to or from your smartphone is off limits.
What you need to secure your smartphone from this threat is a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which will connect your Android device with an offsite secure server and encrypt your connection. It keeps anyone wanting to know what you’re doing online out and allows you to hide your IP address so that you can appear anywhere you want. Privacy is another form of security. By using a VPN, you can even do things such as watch Netflix from your smartphone when you travel.
Apps are what make smartphones, especially Android phones, so special. Yet that doesn’t mean we should forget that there are apps out there that have security holes or are outright malware in themselves. If you see an app on Google Play that isn’t well-reviewed and tested, it would be wise to avoid it for the moment. Let someone else try it first so that you know it’s safe.
Speaking of app stores, you should never download or buy apps from anywhere but Google Play. It has verification and safety restrictions in place on apps for your protection, and anything dangerous is generally kicked out pretty quickly. You don’t know what you might find elsewhere online, and you should never expect to get anything for free. All you can expect is a catch and probably malware installed on your phone.
Good Browsing Habits
One of the main gateways for trouble into your Android device is your internet browser, so you should be particularly careful of what you do with it. Here are some good habits you should take up:
- Try to only use trusted websites whose names you know. You might want to relegate some of your more adventurous browsing to a computer with the security programs to defend you.
- Try to use websites with HTTPS protection, especially if they ask for your information. The protection isn’t perfect, but it’s certainly better than nothing.
- Check the settings on your browser. Are they generally set so that things will be simple but dangerous? If so, you may want to rethink your priorities.
- Never download anything on your phone. It is rarely needed, and you can get it at home where you might be safer. A full screen and multiple visible tabs makes for an easier defense and foresight of what you’re getting into.
Trust No One
This mantra should be your main security philosophy both online and in the real world when it comes to your Android device. No one really needs to use your phone for anything. If it is really an emergency, someone else will lend out their phone or you can make a phone call for them. They can tell you what they want you to see if they want to show you something (or use their own phone). Put strong verifications measures on your phone (biometrics are great if they’re available) so that no one can touch it.
Online, you need to be aware that scammers are possibly the most successful type of cybercriminal out there. A con artist with basic skills is a far greater threat online than a computer expert. Learn what not to click on, and be wary of anyone that sends you a suspicious link. It could very well lead to malware which would compromise your Android device.
Securing your device is an important step in giving yourself a strong cybersecurity posture all-around. All you’d need to do is fortify your computer, and you will be ready to prepare yourself for any possible threat to come your way. All you need to do is follow the above steps and keep up with the latest trends.
Do you have any thoughts on what someone could do to better secure their Android device? Do you have any Android cybersecurity stories of your own to share? Please leave a reply below and join this important conversation.
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