5 Steps to Secure your Android Phone

Secure your Android Phone

No one wants to lose his or her privacy and security when using a mobile device. Though Google’s mobile operating system has a help guide on how to secure an Android mobile, here is what I think is also important.

Here are the five steps to follow for peace of mind when using your Android mobile.

5 Steps to Secure your Android Phone

Step 1-Disable your location and Apps permissions

Location Apps Permission
Location Apps Permission
  • Go to Settings> Tap Apps > App Permissions
  • Disable permissions to the apps you are not comfortable with
  • You may get an error message as a result, but none of these options should be able to stop an app completely.
  • Tap Apps, then pick the app you want to check. A Permissions link is available halfway down that shows which bits of your system the app can access.

Why? When you install an app, it asks for permissions for location, camera, etc. Some apps don’t need to know your location data, but they record it and sell the data to marketing firms. They also record some of your personal information.

Tip: Android 11 and up mobile automatically resets permissions or apps you have not used for a long time.

Step 2-Disable Google Discover

Google Discover
Google Discover

In the Google app

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google app.
  2. At the top right, tap your profile picture or initial > Settings > General.
  3. Turn off Discover.

In your browser

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, go to google.com.
  2. At the top right, tap your profile picture or initial> More settings > Other settings.
  3. Turn off Show Discover on the home page.

For your data privacy, go to Accounts and Privacy and Google activity controls options. You can disable different types of activity tracking, such as voice searches and YouTube videos, and delete any activities logged in the past.

Why? Google Discover shows content from spam and misleading websites. Also, Google shows autoplaying videos and ads in the Discover panel.

Tip: You can block YouTube videos from appearing in Discover, too.

Step 3- Go out of Ads

Disable Ads
Disable Ads

  • If you choose Google from the Settings app inside Android, you get additional options for managing your privacy.
  • You can tap Personal Info and Privacy, then Your Personal Info, to change the details that Google stores about you.
  • Tap Ads, and there’s an option marked Opt out of interest-based ads.

This means the ads you see inside Android will be less well-targeted. You can reset your “advertising ID” from the same screen. Again, within these screens are links to the relevant privacy controls on the web inside your Google Account.

Why? Ads and related tracking or marketing apps gather your data about you and sell the information.

Tip: There are third-party apps that block these ads. You can disable ads across your entire Google account from the ads settings page.

Step 4- Manage Activity

Activity Controls
Activity Controls

You can control and manage your Google Activity.

You can use Google’s Privacy Checkup feature or go through each setting directly from your phone by opening Settings > Privacy > Activity controls.

  • Chrome for Android comes with its own set of privacy settings. Tap the menu button, the three vertical dots in the app, and choose Settings, then Privacy to access them.
  • Activate the browser‘s Do Not Track request option and clear out cookies and other cached data from Chrome’s memory.
  • Return to the previous screen and tap Site settings to configure permissions like location, cookies and camera access site-by-site.
  • There’s incognito mode, too, which means Chrome doesn’t keep track of your browsing, but it does recognise you when you log in with your credentials.

Why? Google stores your data and anything you do. You may not be comfortable with it.

Tip: Visit the ‘Other Activity Page’ under Activity Controls, and you will find your Google data on its various platforms. Manage that activity and control it.

Step 5- Keep installed Apps down to a minimum

Manage Apps
Manage Apps

Android apps like Facebook have privacy and security settings. If you’re worried about overreaching data collection, the best approach is to keep installed apps to a minimum. Also, your Android phone must have a screen lock code for any external sneakers.

An app is managed when added to the Web and mobile apps list.

You can block or limit access to individual apps of concern. You can also set Google services as restricted for those you want to hide from apps you don’t trust.

Why? Visiting untrusted websites or downloading apps from unofficial sources can expose your device to malicious software.

Tip: To prevent your Android phone from installing apps without your permission, disable automatic app updates, review app permissions, install apps from trusted sources and regularly review installed apps

Update your mobile OS

Keeping your Android operating system and apps up to date is crucial for maintaining the security and privacy of your device.

Regular updates include essential security patches that protect against potential vulnerabilities.

Here are some reasons why updating your software regularly is important:

  • Software updates often address security vulnerabilities and weaknesses that hackers and cybercriminals could exploit. You have the latest security measures, making it harder for malicious activities to gain unauthorized access to your device or data.
  • Updates also include bug fixes that improve your apps’ and system’s stability and performance.
  • You gain new app and operating system functionalities with updates, enhancing the overall user experience and productivity.

Takeaways

Google gives you options to control your privacy and security. You should check the settings to see how to secure your Android phone.

You should take these safety measures to keep your mobile safe from hackers or spammers and to stop irrelevant ads.

FAQs

Where can I manage my mobile safety on Android?

To manage your safety on Android, you need to go to Gmail security and privacy settings and perform a security checkup.

What does Google Discover do?

Google Discover, though, provides you with content of your interest, but many times, it is misleading just to steal your data or for marketing purposes.

Should I remove an app I am not using?

Yes to keep your data safe and secure, you should remove those apps you have not been using for long.

Does Google inform me if my mobile is not safe?

Google may use a red, yellow, or blue exclamation point icon to recommend immediate action for your Google Account if it sees anything concerning your privacy or safety.

Does Google protect my data?

Yes, Google sees that you are protected by multiple layers of security, including leading encryption technologies such as HTTPS and Transport Layer Security.

About the author

Kamal Kaur