[14 Easy Steps] How To Secure Android Phone?

Wondering how to secure Android phone or tablet? If so, then here you will find answers to all of your queries regarding enhancing Android phone security.

Securing your Android phone or tablet is equally important as adding a pattern lock or PIN lock to your device. You must treat your smartphone with care and secure it against theft and hackers.

You must protect your Android phone/tablet from online and as well as offline threats. If you are not careful then you may lose your important contacts, photos, videos, text messages, social media accounts, synced photos, important files, and your emails.

Once, your Android phone is lost or exposed then the entire data is traceable and downloadable and may share on the internet if you do not take care of your Android device.

Well, here we bring you some of the useful ways that you can follow to keep your Android device secure.

How to Secure Your Android Phone?

Here is a quick visual representation of security parameters that each Android user should apply to secure the phone. Quickly go through it to find out the basic tips. If you need detailed solutions, then read this article till the end.

how to secure android phone tablet

How to Secure Android Phone from Hackers?

1: Use Phone Lock

The first and the most basic step towards securing your phone is setting the phone lock. It is the first thing that all users do when it comes to the security of their phones. So, if you have not done it yet, then do it right now.

Though it is the basic way of protecting your phone, mostly the phones without a lock are more likely to get harmed.

For instance, if your phone gets snatched that have sensitive information, such as your credit/debit card details, etc., and you have set the phone lock, then it will take time for the snatcher to unlock your phone, and meanwhile, you can take all the required actions to block your cards.

So, you see how having a phone lock can protect your Android phone. Now, coming to the types of phone lock, you have multiple options: setting, PIN, pattern, and password. So, choose any of the options to secure your Android phone.

2: Lock Apps & Media on Your Android Phone

You can also lock particular apps or media files to give an extra layer of protection. If you want to hide media files or apps from another person, use apps like App Lock/File Hide from the Play Store.

After locking your files using App Lock, you need to provide PIN Lock whenever trying to open the locked files or apps.

3: Download Apps from Legitimate Source

To protect your Android phone from hackers always downloads apps from a trusted source such as Google Play Store. Before installing any app, don’t forget to check its ratings and user reviews. Also, never overlook the Privacy Policy of the apps before downloading them.

4: Go Through App Permissions Before Downloading It

Another important step for securing your phone from hacking is reading the app permission. Before installing any app from the Google Play Store, you must ensure to read the privacy policy of that app and all other information related to the data the app will access on your phone.

For example, some camera app will ask for permission to access your current location that we know is not at all required. So, use the app that only accesses the required data.

5: How to Secure Android Phone with an Antivirus App?

Though Google Play Protect does a good job of protecting your phone from malicious apps, it is not enough when it comes to secure Android phones against viruses/malware.

There are so many other ways malware can infiltrate your device, hence you cannot only depend on Play Protect. In order to protect your Android phone from malware or any other online threat, you must have reliable and advanced antivirus software installed on the phone.

You can check out this detailed guide to find out the most recommended antivirus software for Android: Best Android Antivirus Apps.

6: Avoid Using Unsecure Public WiFi

Everybody wants a free Wi-Fi network to access the internet. But remember that every Wi-Fi network or public wi-fi is not safe. There are hackers and cyber crooks who are always seeking the information transferred or shared between the Wi-fi networks.

If you are doing online transactions make sure your wi-fi network is protected. If you are using free or public wi-fi that is not protected then only use it for office use or entertainment, never browse personal or private data such as banking online, shopping online, etc.

Also Read: How To Fix A Hacked Android Phone?

How to Secure Android Phone from Theft or Loss?

1: Enable Find My Device Feature

No one can assure you that you will never lose your phone. There could be an instance where you may lose your phone, and in that case, Find My Device can help you to overcome the situation.

Like Google Play Protect, Find My Device is also Google’s built-in protection for Android devices. With the Find My Device, users can trace, lock & erase the device when it’s misplaced or stolen.

This tool also provides a backup plan that will keep the device and data secure from these unexpected situations. To enable the Find My Device, go through these steps:

  • Open the phone Settings.
  • Tap on the Google.
  • Go to the Security.
  • Next, tap on the Find My Device > turn it On.

2: Secure Android Phone from Theft Using IMEI Number

IMEI (International Mobile Station Equipment Identity) or MEID (Mobile Equipment Identifier) is one of the best ways to secure the Android phone from theft. All Android phones come with a serial number called IMEI or MEID.

These unique numbers are etched into the phone’s circuits, and unlike other stored information, it cannot alter on the phone. Your phone carrier already has the 15-digit IMEI number that can be used later to put your phone into the missing list of phones.

Even police departments ask for this number when you FIR for the stolen phone. You can find out the IMEI number on your phone box or in the phone’s Settings. Besides, you can also see it under the battery or get it by dialing *#06#.

3: Set a SIM card PIN

Another effective way to secure your Android phone from hackers is by entering the Pin for your SIM card. By doing this, you will have to enter a password every time the phone will restart or when you’ll buy a new SIM card.

As you aren’t going to do it often, entering the SIM card PIN will not be a hassle. It is absolutely worth adding a SIM card PIN to enhance the security of Android phones/tablets.

Wondering how will it secure your phone? Give it a thought what if you lost your SIM card and it went to the wrong hands. If the SIM card is not locked, the thief can easily make a call to find out the number.

And they can use your number on websites, and with the SMS from the bank, they can transfer money. So, you see how a simple step can protect an Android SIM card from such threats.

4: Enable On-Device Encryption to Theft-Proof Your Android Phone

On-device encryption is one of the default security features of Android that keeps the Android device secure from data breaches, leaks, and hacks. This feature uses encryption technology to encrypt the Android device and keep personal data, apps and accounts safe.

To let the encryption work on your device, you must set the phone lock with a PIN, pattern, or password. When the phone is locked, 256-bit AES standard encryption protects the data of the device.

If you are using Android 5 and above, then you can follow these steps to enable the On-Device Encryption:

  • Go to the Settings of your phone
  • Tap on the Security/Security & Location.
  • Select the Encryption & Credentials/Encrypt Phone.

  • Avoid and dismiss the warnings.
  • Now, wait for your device to be encrypted.

Best Ways to Secure Android Phone Privacy

1: Keep the OS & Apps Updated to Protect Android Phones/Tablets

You should always keep your Android OS & apps updated. However, updating the OS & apps not only brings the new features but also fixes the bug and patches to security vulnerabilities. You must ensure that your apps are set to auto-update over Wi-Fi.

Go to Play Store Settings> General > Auto-update apps menu. Also, make sure to check that your OS is updated. To check the update of your Android OS go to Settings > About Phone > System updates.

2: Use VPN

Encrypting your internet connection is one of the best ways when it comes to making Android devices secure like iOS. To encrypt the internet connection, you need to set up the VPN on your Android device.

VPN (Virtual Private Network) adds an extra security layer to the internet connection. Hence, it’s worth it and totally makes sense to have a VPN on your device.

As of now, we all heavily rely on mobile to stay connected with our friends, family, via social media, email, or messaging. And, for this, we need to have a secure and fast internet connection. So, to use your phone safely you can use a reliable VPN on your Android device.

If you don’t know which VPN app will be suitable for your device, then read out this descriptive guide to make your work easier – Best VPN App for Android

However, it is your choice to select the VPN as per your requirement, but if you will ask me, then I will highly suggest you use ExpressVPNIt is one of the most secure and high-speed VPNs. This top-rated VPN protects your privacy without compromising the speed or any other functions of the device.

3: Be Aware of Unknown Sources

Android anyway is a secure OS with advanced security features and it always blocks and notifies users when they try to download any software or files from an unknown source.

However, sometimes users totally ignore warnings of Android and download files from an unknown and untrusted source. But do you know that downloading software or any kind of file from unknown sources comes with its own repercussions?

Most of such files/software carry various types of viruses or malicious executable code. So, please avoid downloading anything from untrusted sources otherwise, you will end up with a virus-infected phone and as result, you will lose your access to data.

4: Don’t Share Your Location with Apps

There are so many apps that request you to share your current location with them. It is perfectly fine with some apps, such as food delivery apps, transport booking apps, navigation apps, etc. Even some apps can’t function at all unless you share the location data with them.

But is it worth sharing your location all apps? Absolutely no!! I mean what could be the purpose of a camera or normal gaming app asking for your location, it doesn’t make any sense. In fact, it is a matter of security concern.

That’s why always make sure your GPS is turned off and only enable it if is required. You can disable your location permission for a particular app on an Android phone by following these steps:

  • Open the Settings on your phone.
  • Go to the Apps.
  • Select the app for which you want to turn off the location permission.
  • Tap on the App permission.
  • Go to the location and turn it off.

Advanced Security Settings to Make Android More Secure

1: Add Finger Print Unlock

The latest Android phones come with an advanced security feature of fingerprint lock. You can now use your fingerprint to lock and unlock your phone. It works on biometric sensor technology due to which no other person can unlock your phone unless it senses your fingerprint.

To start with this advanced protection phone security, you need to register your fingerprint on your phone. Here is how can you do this:

  • Go to the phone Settings.
  • Tap on the Passwords & security.
  • Go to the Fingerprint Unlock.
  •  Now, confirm your current screen lock.
  • Tap on the Add fingerprint.
  • Place your finger on the sensor until the process gets completed.

2: Secure Android Phone With Facial Recognition Feature

The Facial recognition feature is now a staple of Android phones security. Now, you don’t need to worry about your Android phone getting into the wrong hands.

With Facial recognition, you can unlock the Android phone or apps with your face. It is an easy & secure way to keep your data safe on the Android phone. To enable this feature on your phone, follow these steps:

  • Open your phone’s Settings.
  • Go to the Passwords & security option.
  • Select the Face unlock option from the list.
  • Enter your current password/pattern.
  • Now, keep your phone camera in front of your face and let it scan your face.
  • After completing all the steps, you are all set to unlock your phone with Facial recognition.

3: Enhance Phone Security With Trusted Voice

If you are using the Android 7.0 Nougat & above phone, then there must be Google Assistant on your device. To use the Google voice unlock feature, you must have this app on your phone. With this feature, you can unlock the phone when Google hears the trusted voice.

4: Trusted Devices

Another advanced security feature you can use to secure your Android device is trusted devices. Whenever your phone connects to another smart device, such as a Bluetooth headset, smartwatch, etc., your phone will ask whether you want to it as the trusted device.

In case you add it as a trusted device, your phone will remain unlocked till the time your phone is connected to that device.

5: On-Body Detection

The On-Body Detection feature provided by Google is another security option to protect an Android phone. It helps in determining whether your phone is with you or not.

When your phone is in your hand or with you, the phone will remain unlocked. Once the phone gets away from you, it will automatically get locked. 

Common Security Threats to Android Devices

Being an Android user, you must be aware of all the security threats that target Android OS. Knowing about these red flags will help you to know about the things you should do and not to do on your phones.

But first, know about the malware. Malware is a software developed by hackers to sneak into your devices. Cybercriminals use it to hack your phone and access your personal and sensitive data which they later use to commit fraud.

There are different types of ransomware – Ransomware, Trojans, Viruses, Spyware, and many more. Now, let’s see some of the most common security threats that happen to Android phones.

1: Mobile ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware. Cybercriminals use mobile ransomware to lock devices and encrypt all the data saved on the phone. And, in return to give you access to your phone, they ask for a ransom.

Users are often tricked into downloading ransomware on their mobile by clicking on the pop-up ads, going through phishing scams, online schemes, fake SMS as they embed viruses.

That’s why we always suggest avoiding clicking on unknown links, ads and always have a good antivirus tool on your device.

2: Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks

A MITM attack is a type of eavesdropping attack where attackers interfere in the data transfer or existing conversations. It can be found on the unsecured network.

After entering themselves in the middle of the data transfer, the attackers/hackers pretend to be legitimate participants to both the client and server. The main goal of this attack is to steal the information you are sending or receiving over the network.

3: Android Trojan

The Android Trojan is malware that is crafted and designed to look like legitimate app/software. It basically fakes the app and tricks users to believe that it is an authentic program. And ultimately users end up downloading these programs on their devices.

Once you install the trojan on your device, it starts its unauthorized functions and harvesting your personal data from the phone to send or intercept text messages, connects your phone to a botnet, and many more risky things.

That’s the reason why you should never download any app from an unknown source because most of those apps contain different types of malware that can damage your phone.

4: Keylogger

Keyloggers are a type of spyware and monitoring software that records the keystrokes made by users. It is one of the oldest types of cyber threats. Keyloggers are insidious because without your knowledge they always keep their eyes on your every activity. 

They record all information you type into an app or a website and send these data to a third party. Keyloggers can steal all sensitive information you enter on the phone vis text messages, emails, financial information, browsed websites, login credentials, everything.

5: Mobile Spyware

Spyware is a type of malware that users download unintentionally on their devices with software. It comes with software as the programs contain malicious codes.

Once the spyware enters your device it starts spying on your device. Hackers use spyware to spy on your phone remotely, monitoring & recording personal data & activities without your consent.

6: Mobile Adware

Adware is malicious advertisements that pop up on the screen. You must have seen ads showing while browsing websites or even using apps. Not all the ads are malicious but some of them contain viruses.

Once you click on those ads containing malvertising code, your device will get infected and adware enters into your device. That’s why you should never click on suspicious ads as the adware can steal your information and use it for unethical purposes.

Additional Tips to Strengthen Your Android Phone Security

When it is a matter of securing Android phones, there are always some Do’s and Dont’s we need to follow. Considering these extra safety precautions will enhance phone security.

So, the following are some points that we need to consider while using our Android phones from the security point of view:

Do’s:

  • Add your Android device to Device Manager so that you can keep track of your mobile phone if it got lost and can remotely wipe out all the sensitive data.
  • Carefully read all the permissions an app requires before installing it on the device. In addition, also check the Privacy Policy to see what kind of data does this app wants to collect and whether it will share your data with any third party.
  • Uninstall the unneeded apps on your phone. If you haven’t used an app in a while and don’t need it anymore, it’s better to uninstall it to avoid the risks.
  • Always use a strong password. Doesn’t matter if you have set up the pattern, PIN, or password, try to make the password complicated so that it becomes harder for others to unlock your phone.
  • Always keeps a backup of the data saved on your phone. You can do this easily by using any Android Data Backup Tool.

Dont’s:

  • Never skip any OS or apps update. Keeping OS and apps updated is important for the proper functionality of the phone. Also, new updates come with new security patches that can improve the security of the Android phone.
  • Never open unsolicited emails.
  • Don’t use any 3rd party app stores or websites to download apps on your Android phone. Most of the apps available on unauthorized app stores or websites include malware & viruses which is an easy approach for hackers to infiltrate viruses on your device.
  • Another important aspect you need to care about is to avoid using unauthentic apps. Even if they are available in the Google App Store, do not use them unless you know the developers well.

Securing Android Devices: FAQs

1: How can I secure my Android phone privacy?

You can protect the privacy of your Android devices by following these steps:

  • Limit the lock screen
  • Manage Google account and turn off the options that may compromise your privacy
  • Restrict the app permissions
  • Stop websites from tracking you
  • Restrict Google services from using your data

2: How can we find out that our phone is hacked?

If your phone has been hacked, then you would see some unusual activities on your phone, such as follows:

  • You will see unknown messages and call send from your phone
  • You can use the USSD codes to check if your phone is hacked or not
  • Unknown apps installed on your device without your knowledge
  • Spammy ads will pop up on your phone screen
  • Sudden increase in data usage
  • Phone starts draining too fast
  • Apps started crashing frequently

3: Can someone remotely insert spyware on the phone without even touching it?

Yes, it is possible to remotely insert the spyware on Android phones. You can do it by remotely installing the spy apps on Android phones.

Conclusion

So these are some of the common but very important things that you must follow to keep your Android Phone/Tablet secure. If you honestly follow the above suggestion then you will never face any problem with your Android device related to security.

I hope with this article you got the answer to your query about how to secure Android phone. If you found this article helpful, then get connect with us on Facebook or Twitter to stay updated with such useful guides.

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