7 Ways to Secure Your Android Phone
Android, which is Google’s developed mobile operating system, is used in many smartphones from numerous manufacturers, such as Nokia, Sony, Samsung, HTC, LG, Micromax, Gionee, Oppo, etc. As such, the number of Android users have also increased through the years, which has led Google’s Android towards competing with its rival, Apple.
Although Google claims to have built a secured operating system for PCs, smartphones, and tablets, yet there are still some drawbacks that do not hold Android to be completely secure.
Therefore, smartphones that are running the Android mobile operating system can become vulnerable to virus and other online threats.
There are many things which can render your Android smartphone insecure. If you are an avid Android user and are concerned about the security of your smartphone, we can help you with the important guidelines that will keep you safe from unwanted online attacks.
1. Always keep your Android smartphone up-to-date
This is the first and foremost rule of securing your Android smartphone from vulnerabilities and threats. Your Android smartphone’s operating system gets periodic updates from Google.
Thus, it is necessary that you immediately update your Android smartphone with the latest releases of the mobile operating system updates.
The updates provided by Google helps in keeping your Android mobile operating system secured with their latest releases of important patches. These patches may contain minor software updates or some major wide operating system update and may also include with it new security features in order to protect you from virus attacks and online threats.
Google provides automatic software updates for your Android smartphone when it is released. You will receive a notification on your phone directing you to install the update.
2. Only download apps from Google’s Play Store
There is a centralized application management software that comes built-in with an Android operating system for smartphones. This centralized software management tool lets you download and install applications, productivity tools, utilities and games that you want on your Android smartphone.
Therefore, in order to keep your Android smartphone secure, it is necessary that you only download and install your favorite apps from Google’s Play Store. This also prevents you from downloading harmful programs through individual websites which may contain viruses or malware.
All applications that are available through Google’s Play Store are genuine software and have ratings and reviews from other users. So, if you download an app from Google’s Play Store, you can be protected from falling victim to attackers and hackers who inject infectious pieces of codes into the apps which can damage your smartphone, or probably render it non-functional.
3. Avoid installing apps from unknown sources
Android has a built-in feature that allows users to download software applications from third-party websites. However, this may also pose a threat to your smartphone and cause minor to major problems. By default, the feature is disabled when you purchase an Android-based smartphone.
When you navigate to the settings page on your Android smartphone, you will come across the ‘Security’ option which further shows you other options. Among these options, there is one that says ‘Unknown sources’.
This option is disabled by default. If you enable this option, you will have access to download and install apps from third-party websites, which may prove to be quite dangerous, if you are not being careful with what you are doing.
Thus, leaving this option turned off will prevent your Android smartphone from catching virus or malware infections.
4. Install apps with caution
When you are downloading and installing applications on your Android smartphone, each app has its own set of privacy policies and usage rights.
This means that when you are using their app, you are letting them access your personal information, such as your contact details, bank details, access to your multimedia files, operating system information and other critical information.
Most of the times, your personal information are easily stolen by attackers who masquerade themselves as genuine people and use your information to exploit you.
Once your data and information are compromised, you will have a lot to lose. So, you must be extra careful when you are not sure what app you are installing on your Android smartphone.
5. Use an anti-virus app
Since security is a major concern with the Android mobile operating system, your smartphone needs an additional layer of security in order to protect you from virus and malware attacks. Android mobile operating system is still prone to virus attacks and illegal hacks. Therefore, you will need more than what Google’s Android offers you to keep your secure online.
There are a few good anti-virus software apps that can protect your Android smartphone from such harmful infections. Though some individuals may not agree with this point, it is important to have one if you want to keep your Android phone secure.
Some of the popular and effective anti-virus apps which you can install on your Android smartphone are listed below:
- AVG Anti-virus Security
- Bitdefender Anti-virus
- Malwarebytes Anti-malware
- Kaspersky Internet Security
- Avira Anti-virus
- Avast Anti-virus & Security
- Trend Micro Anti-virus
- Sophos Anti-virus
- Norton Security Anti-virus
- McAfee Mobile Security
These are some of the popular and effective anti-virus apps that you can use on your Android smartphone. However, please note that not all security apps may work perfectly on your device. So, try these apps and see which app best suits your smartphone, including performance.
6. Use the Backup & Restore option
Not to forget the time machine that can roll back any unwanted changes. If you have accidentally done something wrong or were infected by a virus. Your Android operating system has the ‘Backup & Reset’ option that is found in the ‘Settings’ page.
This feature has the ability to restore your operating system back to its functional state. For this to work, you must keep this option enabled at all times. Remember, resetting your Android device will erase everything that is stored in your phone’s built-in storage memory. Therefore, it is advised that you back up your data on an expandable storage or on your computer system.
The previous versions of Android, for instance, Lollipop (5.0) allowed users to back up their settings, downloaded apps, contacts, and messages either on the phone’s built-in memory or on the SD card storage. Also, easily restore them back on the phone.
7. Be a smart user
Virus and malware don’t usually come uninvited unless you trigger them to execute and plague your smartphone with all sorts of infections and making your phone perform sluggishly, or just fall dead.
If you are a new user to an Android platform, you will have a lot of work-around to do. However, as long as you don’t fiddle too much with Android device, you are good to go.
Effective Tip for secure Android Phone
The simple mantra for securing your favorite Android Phone from virus attacks or data theft is that you use your phone wisely and with great caution. Simply avoiding tapping on to unrecognized links, Ads, etc., can save you from damaging your phone. There is a famous proverb on this, “Better safe than sorry”.