Tips for Android OS Security
Android is the front runner of mobile OS through the world. The availability across many devices and ease of use of Android makes it the most popular and most widely used mobile operating system. However, with all its features and user friendliness, Android often falls short when it comes to protecting people’s devices from malware and other threats.
The Android OS mainly checks apps through one of Google’s testing services, named Bouncer, which only matches apps with signatures of previously known malware. Apart from that, there are many other threats that the devices face which are often exploited by attackers. Today, we discuss some tips to make your android devices more secure.
Securing your Android device
Below are some tips that are useful in securing your Android devices:
1. Download trustworthy apps
Android devices have the feature of downloading apps from markets other than the official Google Play Store. These markets do not have the necessary security measures to intercept malicious apps from making their way to the user’s device. Even when downloading apps from the play store, only download apps from trustworthy developers or which are featured by Google itself. It is also necessary to look out for the permissions the app requests before installing it. Some apps ask for permissions which they should not ask for, which usually points to something fishy. Therefore, keep an eye out for such things.
2. Stronger passwords
Once again this suggestion is made, but the reason it is being highlighted again is because people still fall victim to attackers because of using weak passwords. It is always a good practise to use pass codes that have a unique mix of characters and/ or have secondary authentication. Using such passwords in place of PIN codes or patterns is a better practise, for they are harder to crack.
Online security is quite essential for Android devices today, seeing that almost all tasks can be done via the internet today. Sensitive information like bank account details, passwords, etc. need to be encrypted and secured while sharing them online, which is something VPNs always help out with. Therefore, always use a good VPN for your Android device.
4. Encrypt your data
Encrypting your data prevents it from being accessed in the event your phone is stolen or hacked into. Encryption is a simple process which can be done through the settings of your device. All data of your device is encrypted, with access only granted upon entering a password.
-> Follow these instructions for Android devices v.5 and later.
1) Back up your data.
2) Go to Settings > Lock Screen > Screen Lock > [input your current password] > Password and create a strong password.
3) Go to Settings > System > Security > Encrypt device and select Encrypt phone (if using tablet, Encrypt tablet). You’ll be asked to confirm your password again.
4) wait for the encryption process to complete. I’ve seen this take anything between 45 minutes and a couple of hours.
5. Delete unnecessary apps
Having apps installed on your phone that you do not use at all can be dangerous for your device. Some apps collude with other applications to use their permissions and attack your device. Deleting all unnecessary apps is thus a good practise.
Hacking into Android devices is sadly easier today than it once was, as many devices on the market are not equipped with the necessary tools to ward off attackers. That, in combination with bad online security practices, makes it quite simple for a hacker to gain access to an Android device. New tips and vulnerability patches become available daily, so we’ll work on extending this tip sheet.
Do you have a story about Android security or know of any tips – please do not hesitate to share with the community in the comment section below.