Many of us are using smartphones and yet many, among us do not even protect our phones with a password as it creates a distraction while handling it. We access the internet, social media, and emails through smartphones and all our contacts, sensitive and financial information are stored in it. While this may be true at a personal level and we rely on our phones more than we trust our friends and relatives, the question remains, is it really secure. Are we doing our bit to keep our personal information secure? Many, among us have a habit of storing bank related passwords and information in their smartphones. Have you ever wondered what could happen if such information goes to wrong hands or if the phone is stolen? Well, there are plenty of online hackers who are behind anonymity and their job is to hack information and take advantage of such stolen information. If this sounds to be a risk that you are running, there are of course ways to protect your smartphone, tablet or the android device. Below, are outlined few ways that can keep the information on your android device safe and secure.
Use built-in Android security
Android offers you many types of screen locks for you to choose, like a pin, password, pattern, face unlock and others which are available in Android settings. Extra care should be taken while setting pattern locks or pins so that it’s not easy to guess the password. If you happen to run on Jelly Bean you can further tighten your security with screen lock or encryption code. Another point that’s to be kept in the mind is not to save the passwords for websites and online services and especially the passwords for financial services. The reason is if the passwords are saved, it is stored in the device and if someone gets hold of your device, they would have access to your passwords.
Read App permissions while installing an app
When you install an app from Google play a pop up of a list of requested permissions would come up to show the permissions necessary. It is a fact that apps require permissions to do the jobs that they are intended to do but all of these permissions may not be necessary. It is always better to read the permissions thoroughly and correspond with what the app does and then accept the permissions. An example would be an alarm app would not require accessing the text messages and if it asks for so, it should not be allowed. This is a very important aspect to consider from the standpoint of security as all the apps in the Play Store are not at all safe to download. It is important to read the comments and the ratings of the app that you are planning to download. This gives you a primary idea of what the app does without really trying it for yourself.
Locking Apps is important
The apps that hold private and sensitive information like finance related information should be locked. This would serve as a second level of security to prevent anyone from getting access to sensitive information in case they have been successful in unlocking your primary lock of the phone. There are free apps available which can lock your apps with a password. What is important is to lock the apps that are loaded with data and sensitive information like the file managers or the email apps.
Secure your network
Network protection is an important point to consider in protecting your data. If there is a transaction involving sensitive data like your banking transactions, public WiFi should be avoided. While sharing the same network with the public, data packets can be easily stolen containing important and private information like passwords. If it is absolutely necessary, it can be done using apps available in the market that encrypts your outgoing connections.
Create different user accounts for protection
If you happen to own an Android tablet and may have to share it with a brother, sister, spouse or kids, it is advisable to create multiple user accounts. This would ensure privacy for each of the users and protection of data as well. A general account can also be created for any guest user. The option to create accounts is available under Settings > Users section.
Have a backup of your data
Keeping a backup of your data is imperative in today’s age of smartphones. In case your smartphone is stolen or lost, you would lose all the information without a backup. Even if it is not stolen, the hackers may also render your smartphone useless. Having a backup of your data would help you in restoring the Android device back to its normal state. Keeping a backup of important information in the cloud, desktop or even a flash drive is imperative for the purposes of security.