Our Smartphones are now full of sensitive, personal data, and we depend on them for countless day-to-day activities from checking our bank balance to personal messaging and work email. More and more our phones have become the portal to our online identity which, while allowing for greater convenience, also leaves us open to an increased threats. It is, then, wise to take at least minimal precautions to secure your Smartphone and its data.
Enable the lock screen on your device
The most basic and essential form of protection is the lock screen on your phone. While this does not protect your phone from hackers, it does protect your data in the case of a misplaced or stolen device. There a number of lock screen security systems on various types of devices, the most common being a pattern lock, PIN number, password lock or a finger print sensor. Furthermore, many apps also allow you to enable this sensor as a means of access personal information, such as banking apps. To access these option, located the security menu on your smartphone as well as any relevant applications.
Two-factor authentication is a two step process requiring two passwords – for example a fingerprint and a PIN number – before access to data is provided.
Individually lock sensitive apps
In addition to screen lock settings, mentions above, you may also elect to add an additional layer of protection by individually locking sensitive application. Various applications, such as App Lock, allow you to secure select applications, such as those holding sensitive or personal data.
Encryption is the process of converting your data into a coded format so that anyone attempting to access it without authorization will be unable to read it. There are two principal ways of encrypting the data on your Android device. The first option is full disk encryption through Android 5.0 (or above) Lollipop, and the second is a file-based encryption via Android 7.0 (or above) Nougat.
For more informations: How to Encrypt your Android Smartphone
Google Play provides you access to permission controls before you download a new application to your Android device. Therefore, you can control the permission settings for that app on your phone. You may not want to grant games, for example, access to your contacts. You can also access the app permissions via the Settings menu.
Rely only on Google Play
It is always best to download new apps on Google Play, rather than via third-party providers. This is because Google Play has not control over apps outside their Play Store. If you need to download an app from an outside source, the best option is to sideload that app. This option can be enabled by accessing Settings > Security > Device Administration. However, as a general rule it is much safer to not sideload apps at all.