As the world becomes increasingly digitalized, there are more opportunities for our data to be hacked and stolen. Already, any given individual is likely to have multiple apps on their phone that contain personal information such as a home address, email address, family information, and financial information. The field of cybersecurity is here to help mitigate the risks of having such personal information hacked and stolen. Check out the following tips to ensure your Android device is protected against cyber threats.
Keep Your Phone Locked
While it may seem like a common thing to do, not everyone keeps their phone locked with a password leaving data on the phone accessible to anyone. What’s more, many people use an always-on feature where their phone will not lock unless manually locked. This too can lead to a phone always being unlocked.
To keep your personal information safe, always lock your phone with a password. Depending on your Android phone model, you can lock your device with a passcode, your fingerprint, or FaceID. If you use a password, be sure to use a secure password that you don’t use for other personal accounts.
Use a Password Manager
An unfortunately common habit of many people is to use the same password for all their accounts. Doing this is a cybersecurity risk. If one account is hacked, the hacker has immediate access to all your other accounts. That’s why it’s important to use unique passwords for all your accounts.
To keep your Android phone and your accounts safe, use a password manager that stores all your unique passwords. Then, all you need to do is remember one secure password.
Update Your Phone’s Software
Software is never a complete product; there will always be software updates. As companies grow and innovate, they update their software to add new, interesting features to improve users’ experience. However, software updates are not only to add cool features—they are there to improve your phone’s security.
As software is around longer in the public, cybercriminals can experiment with methods to get around firewalls and security features. That’s where software updates are important from a security point of view. Updating your Android device’s software means your phone has the most up-to-date security measures in place to keep your phone safe from cyber threats.
Use a VPN
When you go to a browser on your Android phone, you’re connecting to the internet either through a WIFI network or your internet service provider. All your data is then available to that internet provider. They can see what websites you visit, what you search for, and from where you’re accessing the internet. If you connect to a public WIFI network, there may be cybercriminals monitoring the network and trying to get personal data from connected devices.
To stop cybercriminals, internet service providers, or trackers on the internet from having access to your data, use a VPN. Virtual private networks encrypt your browsing data and hide your IP address giving you optimal data privacy. The best VPN providers will block trackers and malware, and ensure your personal information is safe from any cyber threats.
Only Use the Google Play Store
When people get a new phone, one of the first things they do is install a bunch of applications. Between music apps, news apps, social media apps, banking apps, and productivity apps, many Android devices have tens if not 100 applications installed. While installing applications is okay, you should only ever install an application from secure sources.
If you have an Android device that comes with the Google Play Store, only install apps from that store. Google has strict guidelines on what it allows on its platform, and it ensures the apps available on the Play Store meet specific requirements. Installing application files from the internet is risky as the applications cannot be verified to be free from malware or security risks.
Use Antivirus Software
When people think of antivirus software, they likely think of software that comes default on their computer or laptop. While antivirus is more common on such devices, installing this software on your Android device can help ensure your phone and data are protected. This software works to stop malware from getting on your device and helps block phishing scams and malicious websites.
Several antivirus options are available for Android devices, but it’s recommended to use well-known software. Names like McAfee, Norton, Kaspersky, Avast, and Bitdefender are all popular antivirus solutions that have software specifically made for Android devices.
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