It’s becoming glaringly obvious that the world is beset by a digital war where it’s the cybercriminals against everyone else. Things keep escalating, and it’s unfortunate for those caught in the crossfire. Fortunately, there are a few things Android owners can do to get themselves out of cyber attackers’ crosshairs.
Anytime a data breach occurs, or phone gets hacked, it feels like a huge violation of personal privacy for the victims. Because everyone carries their phone around with them everywhere, and store half their lives on it. When that personal space is invaded, it can be devastating and have real, terrible consequences.
Those who are in the biggest danger are the ones who don’t take time to secure their phones. To be on the safe side, make security a priority by following online security tips like the ones below.
- Set Up A Passcode on the Device
Every Android phone can be locked with a number of passcode options, including a pin, password, knock code, pattern, and swipe. It’s important to lock a phone for two reasons:
– An unlocked phone can be accessed by anyone at any time. If it should accidentally get left out in the open or be stolen, then disaster could ensue. Plenty of people save personal info like credit card details and passwords on their phones. Many have banking apps installed on them.
– Some malicious apps work in the foreground and cannot function properly when a phone is locked.
- Set That Passcode to “Hidden”
Android has the option to turn passcodes to “hidden” while they’re being entered. You don’t want a stranger to gain access to our device by just looking over your shoulder while you enter the code.
- Don’t Download Every App You See
Not every app is what it appears to be. Criminals go to great lengths to make their fake apps look legitimate so they can trick people into downloading them.
Android is an extremely popular platform with billions of users all over the world who own and use Android devices every day. This gives cyber criminals plenty of motivation to spend their efforts on exploiting vulnerabilities in these devices.
It’s recommended that users thoroughly inspect an app before downloading it. Make sure to check descriptions and reviews.
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Most online accounts and apps provide the option to enable two-factor authentication. This keeps criminals out by sending a pin or code to a separate account or device whenever there’s a login attempt. If they don’t have access to the other account or device, then they can’t get in. It’s simple but effective.
- Only Download Apps From the Official Store
Google Play isn’t exactly immune to the fake app scourge, but it is still a whole lot safer than third-party marketplaces. The store goes to great lengths to vet and monitor the apps that make it on there. They also have the newly introduced Google Play Protect, which scans every app that has been downloaded from the Play Store.
- Check App Permissions Carefully
App permissions can have a lot of influence on how much access developers get to the device. Some apps ask for a lot of permissions that shouldn’t be necessary for the app to function properly. Like a calculator app that asks for access to a device’s gallery and contacts. Sometimes these apps aren’t malicious, but they can be exploited by others.
- Stay Away From Public WiFi
Public WiFi hotspots are extremely risky because they can easily become compromised. Hackers like to hop onto public WiFi networks and lay in wait for anyone who connects so they can infect their devices.
If data is a big problem and public WiFi is the only choice then make sure to go online through a VPN. Among other things, VPN services help encrypt a device’s connection so outsiders can’t access the data being sent over it. They’re pretty good for security in general, so downloading one anyway isn’t a bad idea.
- Don’t Root The Device Unless It’s Absolutely Necessary
Rooting an Android device unlocks advanced options that aren’t normally available. To experienced users, this can open up new ways to control the phone. But it’s also a dangerous thing to do as it makes the device a lot more vulnerable. Someone who chooses to root their device should also employ additional security measures to keep it safe.
Staying Safe With Android
Android might be a major target for hackers and other cyber attackers, but if used with security in mind, then it’s perfectly safe. Those who avoid risks and get into the habit of responsible smartphone ownership are much less likely to see any problems.