Android Tip #1: Password Protect
The single most effective security measure you can take to protect your Android device is to lock it with a password. It sounds simple, but a strong password will protect you and your smartphone from the vast majority of threats; if a malicious party can't get past your password screen, your data and everything else on-device is generally secure.
Depending on the model of your Android smartphone, you'll have a variety of password options, but they're all accessed in mainly the same way. Open up your Android:
- Location & Security Settings
- Screen Unlock Security
You'll then be presented with a number of password options, depending on your device.
**Note: If you choose to employ the Pattern Lock option, it's a good idea to frequently wipe your touch screen clean, since repeated entry of your pattern lock can leave a "trail" that can be spotted by hackers and used to gain access to your device.**
Android Tip #2: Timeout Option
After completing the first step, set out option for Screen Timeout so every time you stop using your device it automatically shuts off. It will save your battery power and also secures your device.
To enable this feature go to:
- Android Settings menu
- Scroll down and select display
- Locate the Screen Timeout option
- Pick a value–We suggest 30 sec or higher for maximum security.
Android Security Tip #3: Avoid Apps outside of Google’s Android Market
While downloading apps from only Google's Android Market does not remove all app related risks, it is safer than other sources. Google has taken steps to bolster the Android Market's security; it has a major incentive to do so. When it comes to other markets, it's really buyer beware. It is best to always read the permissions an App is asking for; this can give you a general idea if it’s ok to use.
Android Security Tip #4: Back up your data
Common practices and preemptive safety precautions aside,smartphones get lost, stolen, broken, and just die. This is why it is so very important to backup your data. Take the time to create regular backups of your applications and settings. Syncing your phone with Google is one thing, but backing up your pictures, texts, videos, and other important files is another. We cannot stress enough how important it is to have redundancy in storing data. Try out this free app:
Android Security Tip #5: Keep Apps up to date
Your device will periodically remind you of updates ready to be installed from the Android market or OTA via your service carrier. Keeping up to date is crucial for security as there are many exploits and methods for gaining access to restricted data discovered every day. If you find a glitch or unintended use of an application, let the developer know! Getting apps patched or updated is vital to the growth and success of Android as a whole.
Android Security Tip #6: Secure Wi-Fi
Those of us without the greatest carrier coverage sometimes rely on Wi-Fi to do most of our heavy internet browsing. This helps keep data usage down and generally speeds up communications. However, remember that the same rules for standard computers still apply to Android on those free Wi-Fi hotspots. The information your device sends across a Wi-Fi network is not anonymous, so avoid any online banking or financial tracking until you have carrier coverage or access to a more trusted network.
**With whichever route you choose here, always be sure to take caution with SSL certificates. If your browser should receive a 'certificate warning' notification while visiting a secure site, DO NOT GO TO IT. Be sure to fully review the reason for the warning; a common malicious method of stealing credentials and private information is by essentially delivering false, non-authentic certificates to the end user containing an improper site name, thus compromising the entire secure session you are establishing, and putting you at risk for data theft. Legitimate SSL certificates should *NEVER* display a warning.
Android Security Tip #7: Secure Bluetooth
Like WIFI connection never use Bluetooth always on, only turn it on when required. It will save your battery power and also will protect you from potential security risk and malware. To turn off Bluetooth:
- Go to settings
- Wireless & networks
- You will see “Bluetooth”, make sure the check mark is unchecked
Android Security Tip #8: Download Anti-Virus
Good mobile antivirus app scans new Android software downloads for suspicious actions, such as strange permissions- or download-requests. And a number of free and commercial, or paid, Android antivirus apps are currently available in the Android Market. The top 5 free antivirus apps are: (listed in no particular order)
- Dr. Web
- Antivirus free
- NetQin Mobile
All of these are free services that provides basic protection for average users
Android Security Tip #9: Common sense
Finally, as far as security goes for your Android device, use common sense! Do not install apps hastily without reading the permissions agreement or customer reviews. Use caution when browsing to sites via randomly found QR codes. Do not store your passwords in a file on your device or in an email linked to your device. Try not to reuse your passwords for added security in the event of a data breach. Do not give our or share personal information to those you do not expressly trust.