Android security

Make your Android phone as secure as you can

Keep your Android in good shape, when it comes to security

We’ve rounded up some simple but important security tips for Android phones, so your device is always protected.

Tips to make your Android mobile safe and secure

Unlike Apple’s iPhones, Android has open software.

This means anyone can make apps for Android phones and make them available to download online. But only apps which meet a high level of security become verified by Android and then advertised on the Google Play store.

To make sure your phone is always secure, only download and use apps from the Google Play store and read the customer comments to make sure it’s genuine

What should you do?

In order to stay on the Google Play store, the app developers need to make sure their apps are protected from any viruses with regular updates, so it’s important to update apps when you get a notification about a new version.

When you install an app from the Google Play store, a list of permissions will pop up. This shows you which parts of your phone the app needs to access for it to work.

Always read through these to make sure they make sense. A photo editing tool will need access to your photos but not your phonebook, for example. If you see anything unusual, make sure you re-read the description and app reviews before downloading it. 

Locking individual apps adds another layer of security to apps that hold important information like your email or notes. Just in case your phone gets stolen. Some apps already have a locking function. If you have an app you want to lock but it doesn’t do this automatically, you can download an app that offers this service.

Although Android viruses are not very common, antivirus software on your mobile could add another layer of protection. Just make sure you download from a safe source. Antivirus is vital for your PC, laptop or Mac.

Encryption simply means that all the information, apps and files on your phone are converted into a code, until you unlock them with a password. So when a messaging service says it has end-to-end encryption, it means that only you and the person you’re sending the message to can read the message. 

More recent Android phones are automatically encrypted, but if you have an older one, you’ll have to switch encryption on. You can do this in your settings

Always keep your Android software up-to-date

There are flaws in any software system and fraudsters will try to find them. But Google, who make Android phones, know this. That’s why they employ a team of hackers to break into their own systems first. So when they find any holes in their software, they will create an update to improve your phones security. 

Updating your software as soon as you get a notification will make sure your phone is safe 

Set up remote tracking and wiping

If you’ve lost your phone, tracking apps can help you find it again. If you suspect your phone’s been stolen, it’s important to wipe  your Android device and restore the phone to factory settings, to make sure any sensitive data doesn’t get into the wrong hands.  

It’s easy to do this. All Android phones have Android Device Manager pre-installed, which lets you locate, lock and wipe your device if you lose it.

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