Top Security Tips for Android – Fight Against Hackers and Spyware
When it comes to keeping your data safe on Android, there are a few simple tips that you can follow to dramatically reduce your odds of being hacked or scammed.
Android is the world’s most popular operating system, powering around 88% of all mobile devices. This makes it target number one for mobile hackers and scam artists, as well as a popular platform for distributing malware and spyware on. This means that ensuring security on Android devices is of paramount importance – especially considering you no doubt use your phone a lot more personal stuff than a laptop or computer.
When it comes to using your phone securely, you don’t have to worry about constantly checking yourself. Quite simply, you can download a couple of useful apps, and follow some general principles to ensure that you’re always protected when browsing the web, opening files, and using apps.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some simple and tested security tips for keeping your Android device secure from external threats such as hacking and virus infection. Most of these tips are quick and easy to implement and won’t cost you a penny.
Top security tips for Android
When it comes to keeping your Android device protected from threats, the best thing that you can do is to only use trustworthy software and regularly check for infections on your device. Having said this, there are several other simple tips for keeping things under wraps – let’s start with the glaringly obvious and, incredibly, still overlooked by some people.
Have a PIN
Most smartphones now have a fingerprint scanner of facial recognition for unlocking the device, but a lot of older models don’t. If someone can pick up your phone and immediately have access to all your signed-in apps and install whatever they want onto it, then that’s not very secure. Be careful. Okay, now let’s move onto the less obvious ones…
Never use public Wi-Fi. Ever.
Using public Wi-Fi is like putting your bank card on the table in a busy restaurant with a piece of paper with your PIN number on it and then going for an hour walk. It’s a really dumb thing to do. Public Wi-Fi is never secure – this includes libraries, government buildings, cafes, airports, hospitals – everything. These networks are frequently targeted by hackers and as a result they’re extremely dangerous to use.
You can just use your mobile hotspot instead – a plan with around 30GB of data a month will allow you to use your mobile hotspot for around four hours per day, assuming that you’re not streaming video. This is more than enough to not need to use public Wi-Fi.
Download a reputable antivirus app
It’s important to have one of these apps on your device so that you can routinely scan your phone for viruses – and prevent them from being able to access your phone in the first place! It’s best to stick with the big names here to ensure that you’re not actually giving access to a scam app. Apps like McAfee Mobile Security and Avast are the best bets to go for, and the basic version of these ones are free.
Use a VPN
This is where it gets a little pricier. VPNs generally aren’t free. There are free ones out there – but DO NOT USE THEM. Free VPNs are one of the most potentially invasive and dangerous things that you can install on your mobile. The reason for this is that VPN servers are really expensive to run, so they need to be getting that money from somewhere. Seeing as all your data runs through the VPN’s servers, they can actually store this data (which is everything you do and about you) and then sell it on to whoever is willing to pay for it. This could result in some serious privacy and security problems for you later on down the line.
It’s worth paying a few dollars per month for a reputable VPN service that won’t log your data and will give you military-grade encryption. Do your research and pick a good one. Don’t hold back on pennies – they’re all pretty cheap anyway.
Don’t download apps outside of the Play Store
The Play Store has millions of apps – but there are a lot that aren’t on there. These are called APK files, and you can download them to get pretty cool apps that allow you to do stuff like download videos from YouTube, play games with bonuses unlocked, root your phone, and so on. The problem here is that these apps haven’t been verified by Google and they’re prone to carrying viruses or spyware.
Some of these apps will outright try and spy on you, or fill up your browser with more ads. It’s annoying and invasive, and you should generally avoid these apps altogether. What’s more, check out any app you download off of the Play Store as well – some of them also carry adware and spyware that Google doesn’t flag or just doesn’t consider to be enough of a threat to remove them.
Turn your Bluetooth off
This is something of a double-whammy. Turning off your Bluetooth saves you battery and it stops hackers from being able to use your Bluetooth to access your phone. They’d have to get close to you to do this, but it does happen. Generally speaking, it’s safer and more convenient for you to just turn your Bluetooth off and then only activate it when you actually need it.
Never underestimate the lengths that people will go to gain access to your personal data and information. It’s big business. People can make a lot of money from selling your data and browsing habits to advertisers, insurance companies, hackers, and anyone else who’ll pay.
Follow these tips to ensure that your data is kept secure and you don’t end up with problems later on down the line. It’s not hard to make sure that you’re protected when using your Android – it just takes a bit of vigilance.