Keeping everything on your phone in one place sounds like a good idea, but it’s also a recipe for disaster and a green light for hackers if you don’t protect it properly. Your Android phone holds all your sensitive personal data, browsing habits, whereabouts, and more. What if a hacker intercepts your saved passwords for things like your bank account or credit card? These breaches can have significant financial implications when they occur.
Read these five quick tips to add an extra layer of privacy to your phone and keep yourself safe from hackers.
1. Lock your phone screen
This is probably the simplest and most important step. The best way to keep someone away from your phone is to make sure it locks itself after a certain period of time. You can change the time delay from instant (recommended) to 30 minutes (awesome idea) in your settings.
You should also use a mix of biometrics (facial and fingerprint recognition) along with a passcode to unlock your phone. Biometrics are highly secure, but you may find yourself in a situation where someone can force you to unlock your phone, so always add a passcode as well. Choose the longest sequence of numbers that you can remember, and don’t make guessing easy.
2. Set Strong Password
You need strong passwords for all your apps and websites to prevent anyone from accessing your address, personal information, and anything else you don’t want people to see. Protect your apps with strong and long passcodes that include a mix of characters, numbers and symbols. Don’t pick something basic like your birthday, name or family member’s name. And no, don’t even pick your pet’s name.
For extra sensitive apps like your online banking platform, add another layer of privacy with two-factor authentication. You can change this in your settings. This means you can log in with something like your fingerprint, and then send a passcode to your Android phone before you can access the app.
3. Audit Your App Permissions
Do you know what information your apps hold about you? Do you know that they may be sharing this information with other websites as well? Check out each of your apps and check what information you’re offering for free. This often includes your location, camera, microphone, and browsing habits. This information is sold to advertisers so that they can better design ads directed at you. Ever felt like you were being watched? It’s because you are. You can change your settings to disallow all location tracking or set it up only when using the app if it’s necessary, for example when using Google Maps.
4. Use a VPN
Using a VPN on your phone is a win-win situation, even if you use a free VPN. Privado’s Free VPN hides all your internet habits by sending your data through an encrypted tunnel. This essentially makes you invisible when you are on the Internet, and prevents any sites from tracking or storing your data. And that means they keep hackers out, too.
This is especially important when using public WiFi networks, which are hotspots for people looking to steal your data. But we always recommend keeping your VPN on for ultimate privacy, as the less information you share about yourself on the Internet, the better.
5. Review your Google Account privacy
Isn’t it nice to have your Google Account tied to all your devices? Sure, that means you can pick up where you left off, but it also means you’re sharing all kinds of data on every device you own.
Google collects a lot of data from you, including your age, location and browsing habits, to give you personalized and fast results. This makes it easier for you, but it also makes it easier for hackers to track you down and get their hands on your data. However, you can easily review and change how Google stores your data through your permissions. And the added benefit is that it protects you not only on your Android phone, but across all your platforms.
Your Android phone offers unparalleled convenience at your fingertips, but it also comes with the potential for hackers to access your most sensitive information. Use these five tips to keep hackers off your phone and away from your most valuable information.