Apps and built-in settings that protect your Android device

With over 2 billion monthly active devices, Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world. One of the reasons for Android’s popularity is the flexibility of the operating system, especially when it comes to application platforms. When downloading apps, Android users are not limited to the Google Play Store. You can easily download apps that are not available on the app store in third-party app stores.

Android openness gives developers an opportunity to work in a more relaxed environment vis-à-vis regulation. But this flexibility also leads to abuse and allows some bad applications in the form of malicious APKs to slip through. Hacking and other cybersecurity issues are also common in the Android ecosystem. The good news is that Android is packed with powerful and practical features which you can use to secure your device. Here are a few tips on how to protect your Android device.

Android VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) connects to the internet on your behalf, and by hiding your location and your online actions, eliminates privacy and security issues. Android VPN delivers a secure internet connection via the use of private servers in remote locations.  When you connect to a VPN, all the data traveling between your Android device and the website is encrypted to limit access to you and your online destination. Not even the would-be hackers will be able to access this information.

You need a VPN that runs on Android phones or gadgets to safely browse online. The popularity of VPNs is due to an upsurge in cases involving the theft of personal data through hacking and malware attacks online. These attacks are particularly common on unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Therefore, if you use public Wi-Fi now and then, you need to take measures to secure your online activity over the connection. Using Android VPN is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself online.

Antivirus Software

Android devices are increasingly becoming susceptible to different types of malware and viruses. Install antivirus software in your Android device to protect against malware attacks and other forms of threat actors. In case of a malware attack, the antivirus app on your Android smartphone will intercept malicious attachments and links before the malware is deployed in your device. Make sure that you install a reputable anti-malware app that will effectively scan and remove malware and viruses from your device.

On-device Encryption

If you are like most people, you have a lot of sensitive data such as financial information, contacts, and emails on your smartphone. Use on-device encryption to protect your data from hackers and snoopers. Simply go to Settings > Security > Encrypt Device and follow the prompts to encrypt your Android device. On-Device Encryption scrambles the data stored on your phone’s storage to ensure that this information is protected if you lose your phone. If your smartphone or tablet is lost or stolen, nobody will be able to access private information on the device.

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is not specific to Android and it’s technically a Google account feature. However, if you use Google services, you should know that the overall device security picture is very much connected to your Google account. Two-factor authentication helps you lock down Google services and secure your phone. To activate 2-FA, log in to your Google account and head over to Security > 2-Step Verification. You will receive verification codes via SMS or voice calls every time you want to access your account.

Android is the world’s number one mobile operating system. While the popularity of the operating system has its upside, the sheer number of people using the Android-powered devices has made the platform a prime target for hackers. Given the amount of sensitive data we store on our devices, it’s important that we make our best efforts to secure our smartphones. Use the tips above to secure your Android device and protect your privacy online.

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