Saturday, 25 May 2019

6 ways to protect an Android phone

6 ways to protect an Android phone

Android is one of the most susceptible operating systems when it comes to attacks from hackers. The reason for that is not far-fetched. For one, the Android OS is an open source platform, and it is also the most widely used mobile OS in the world – meaning hackers will have more motivation to target devices on the operating system. While the Android system has put some checks in place to keep you safe, it is your job to ensure your device is on total lockdown. Let’s show you how you can get that done.

6 ways to protect your android phone

Protect your phone with a password

This may sound like a no-brainer, but there are a lot of users who still do not see the need to protect their devices with a password. Among the majority who do, there is a tendency to use weaker passwords. None of these will help your case against a motivated hacker who wants nothing more than to access the information on your device. When choosing a password, it is recommended that it be:
  •   Equal to or more than 8 characters
  • A mixture of letters, numbers and other characters
  • A mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters too
  • Something that won’t be easily associated with you (first name, pet’s name, birthday or plain 12345678-type passwords)

Likewise, Android phones today are coming with fingerprint sensors and facial unlock for others. Adding these extra layers of security make the risks of analog hacking even lesser.

Don’t delay on OS updates

Software developers don’t spend days looking for new ways to drain your internet data bundle faster than you can use it. Believe us when we say the updates they send you are more for your own good than it is for their satisfaction. If you take the time to read through the changelogs of many updates you get, you will see that there are promises of bug removals and sometimes, patching of an issue. This is because a vulnerability has been discovered in the software, and that update is there to make such issues go away. Not installing that update as fast as it comes means you keep running a risk of not being safe from attacks which could stem from such a vulnerability.

Stay off Public Wi-Fi

This sounds harsh, but you will understand why if you would allow us to explain. Public Wi-Fi networks are unencrypted, which means anyone with the right access could see what you are doing on the network. The chance of falling victim to an unscrupulous individual increase if you connect to a rogue Wi-Fi network (e.g. a hacker floating an ‘A1RPORT’ network to fool you away from the main real network). With the access that they get, they can not only see the websites you visit but the information you enter. That means all of your bank logins, account passwords and the likes which you might have entered while using the network is recorded. We don’t need to tell you how that can be used against you. If you must use public Wi-Fi at all, it would be in your best interest to download an Android VPN to encrypt your internet traffic and keep you protected at all times.

Check App Permissions

From the introduction of Android 5 Lollipop, Google has made it possible for users to check what permissions their apps can have and which ones they are not comfortable with. This is not just a formality but something that could improve the security of your units. Look through all the apps on your phone right now and ensure you are not giving them more access than they need to work. For example, it is understandable why the Messaging app would need access to your contacts, but we don’t know why a game you installed could need the same thing. Check for such connections and restrict the apps to only the bare necessities.

Try a Virus Scanner

While you are employing the tactics above for better security going forward, you want to make sure some malware has not already made it onto your phone. You don’t have to wipe all your files and start all over again. Simply download an antivirus checker (we recommend the Avast! Solution) and run it on your device. You should get updates if anything pops up on its radar. Beyond that, a virus scanner will also prove helpful in keeping you from downloading suspicious attachments from emails or clicking on fraudulent links. Should you do any of those, it would be in the best place to clear things up for you before it becomes the main issue.

Backup Your Files

Just like the first point, this should go without saying – but we are saying it anyway. You have a Google account linked to your Android device, so you should back up your files there. If worst comes to it, you can simply walk away by resetting your phone to factory settings and refreshing it with your last backed up copy. However, to keep your backup files away from the prying eyes of hackers too, enabletwo-factor authentication on your Google account.

With all that, you are good to go.