How to Maximize the Security on your Android Device

January 18, 2017 - Written By Darla Sutrich

Android have proven themselves to be the ultimate adversary to the mighty Apple as far as smartphones, tablets and even laptops are concerned. However, the Android OS can be more susceptible to viruses and hacking than their Apple based rivals – how can you boost the security of your Android device to the maximum?

Downloads

Firstly, only download applications from the Google Play Store. It sounds obvious but Android won over a lot of fans thanks to their infinitely customisable offerings and the nasties of the internet are all too aware that you can’t get the ultimate custom through the Play Store. In the settings tab of your Android device; head to security and un-check the unknown sources box to block downloads from unreliable/potentially harmful sources.

Permissions

Even the apps you download from the Play Store have the potential to compromise your device if you aren’t vigilant when installing them. If a game you’ve installed asks for access to your SMS or internet history then there’s every chance something about it isn’t right. You can refuse certain permissions for apps and you can even disable potential security risk apps through settings > enabled apps.

Passwords

The stronger the password, the less likely it is to be hacked. Always avoid birthdays, your own name and former addresses because this kind of information can all be drawn from your Facebook page.

Data Encryption

Essentially, if you encrypt the data on your phone or tablet then no-one you don’t want to access it will be able to. The encryption relies on a strong password, of course, so make sure it’s a secure one just in case.

Wi-Fi

If the Wi-Fi has no security password, don’t join it unless you’re 100% certain it’s safe. BT, O2 and various other providers do offer Wi-Fi access without any security procedure and even they ought to be treated with caution – you never know who might be providing the connection and what they can do with it.

VPN

Without doubt, the best way to access the internet securely is VPN. Virtual Private Networks are like protected wormholes to the internet as nothing can get in to access your data – nothing you don’t want of course. VPN access isn’t expensive and the vast majority of modern routers have VPN capability built into them making VPN access free to you. Ensure you do your research and check out sites that review the best VPN for Android devices. Once you;ve found one, make sure you set VPN as always on for your Android device should you have access; if you haven’t get access ASAP.

Disable Notifications

Not only can they be irritating, they can also be viewed over your shoulder by someone you don’t want to see them. Mobile banking, as an example, may send you a notification to confirm a deposit has cleared – do you want the world knowing that? No, you don’t!

Remove Unnecessary Apps

If you haven’t used a particular app in a long time, it may be best to get rid of it altogether. The more apps you have, the more likely it is that one of them will be compromised and causing harm to your Android device. Many apps collect data in the background that is then forwarded to the creators for purposes we just don’t know about – delete them before they cause irreparable damage.