Last Updated on November 26, 2020 by Husain Parvez
Worldwide, over 2.3 billion Android smartphones are in use daily. Think about that for a moment! That means no matter where you go on earth, there’s a 25% chance somebody will have an Android phone.
What’s not to love about an Android device? It’s super versatile and works well both on the latest $1600 Samsung flagships as well as budget phones you can pick up for less than $50.
This flexibility is why it’s such a fan favorite. But unfortunately, this has also made it a major target for cybercriminals who constantly innovate new ways to hack into your phone to steal data and inset malware.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to enhance your security greatly. Here are five easy and effective things you need to do now.
1. Secure Your Internet Connection
Online is where all the bad guys live. The internet is crawling with viruses, spam, and malicious apps. Hackers often prey on unsecured network connections to hijack data.
They might leverage access to cracked apps or attack your phone directly. It’s a real risk, too, because they can track IP addresses, gain access to your personal credentials, and spread malware.
The best way to keep yourself safe is with a VPN. VPNs or virtual private networks encrypt your internet connections with the best security technology. They also randomize your IP address, making it difficult to track anything back to you.
VPNs are super easy to use, as well. Just enable one anytime you get online and stay safe. Check out this NordVPN review for more details.
2. Research Apps Before You Download Them
From fitness trackers to games and everything else, there are 2.6 million apps in the Google Play Store. But not all apps are created the same.
Many apps have tons of security vulnerabilities and flaws. Or they may collect and sell your data to advertisers or just be malware in disguise.
Before downloading any app, do your homework. Read reviews, search Google, and check what permissions it asks for. Usually, the more reviews an app has, the better the developers. But be sure you don’t mistake popularity for safety!
Even popular apps might get hacked. So, pay attention and update them often to have access to the latest security patches.
3. Enable Google Play Protect
This is a super easy one. Google Play Protect is Google’s built-in monitoring system. It runs scans automatically in the background and notifies you if anything suspicious is happening on your phone.
Not all phones have it turned on by default, so double check your settings to make sure you have it enabled.
4. Get Serious About Password Security
The two most effective security tools for the average person are VPNs and password managers. Even now, many people still recycle the passwords between their accounts mainly because it helps them save time.
The problem is that what’s easier for you is also easier for hackers. If they manage to get access to your password during a data breach or just crack it, it puts all your other accounts at risk.
Password managers help you create lengthy, secure, and unique passwords that are not only super tough but can be safely stored in a digital vault.
When you combine them with two-factor authentication, it makes your accounts virtually bulletproof. Better yet, use a dedicated authentication app like Google Authenticator that’s tied directly to your smartphone rather than your email or SMS for added safety.
5. Protect Your Phone’s Physical Security
While these days, it’s less likely for somebody to gain unauthorized access to your phone (thanks, COVID), you can never rule that out entirely.
Over 50% of people still don’t lock their smartphones. At a minimum, you need to make sure you have a PIN code enabled. But go for six digits instead of four.
Better yet, enable biometrics. Facial and fingerprint scans are not just convenient but extremely secure. But you must also make sure your phone instantly locks anytime you put it down.
Finally, don’t leave your phone unattended, even for a few moments. It only takes a few seconds, and while the threat, in this case, might be somebody you know, it’s still a risk.
Do you really want somebody installing spyware on your phone? We didn’t think so!
Protect Your Android Device From Malicious Apps
Our phones are our world. They allow us to connect with friends, communicate with work colleagues, browse the web, bank, shop, and more. That’s why you need to invest in security and protect your data.
It really doesn’t take much. You can get tools like VPNs, password managers, and even antivirus for less than $20/month combined. And when you’re talking about not getting hacked and having your identity stolen, that’s truly a great value!