Android is currently the most popular mobile operating system worldwide, mostly because the spread of the brands using Android in the market and their availability. However, Android is user-oriented, a user can tweak an Android smartphone the way they want. To provide this flexibility, Android had to give up some of its integrity, and the file protection on Android could be either really tight or really fragile depending on how the user handles the device. However, if you are new to Android, following are few tips that could help you protect the data stored on your Android device.
Screen Lock for Basic Protection
Not just Android, but the display lock is the basic protection for any smartphone out there. Android offers few different types of screen lock features, pattern and PIN is the most popular of them all. Few modern Android smartphones offer fingerprint lock for screen lock and data encryption. Usually if a wrong unlock method is entered for 5 times consecutively, the smartphone gets blocked for few minutes.
Plenty of security apps are available in the app store for data encryption. These apps bring major changes in the files stored, order of the bits are jumbled to make sure only the corresponding app can decrypt them and a PIN is typically used to ensure only authorized access to the system. However, if using third party apps for basic security doesn’t feel comfortable then Android offers a native device encryption feature inside Security Settings.
Android Device Manager
This app works pretty much like Find My iPhone in iPhones. Using Android Device Manager, a user can locate their Android device on Google Maps, remotely lock or wipe the device, sound a loud ringtone to locate the device and customize an on-screen message if the device is lost, or theft. To enable the option, navigate to the Administrator Settings located inside Security Settings. There’s an app available in the app store by the same name, and user can login to a web interface on their PCs as well.
Limit Data Storage in External Storage
While having external storage option in an Android smartphone is a great plus point, it is always recommended that what type of data should be kept in a memory card be filtered by the user. User’s multimedia content like photos, videos and music could be stored without any concern but sensitive data like personal photos and videos, banking information, confidential business data etc. shouldn’t be stored on memory cards.
Apps from Unknown Sources
Installing apps from outside of Google Play Store is a freedom that Android users get right out of the box, but malwares could infect an Android device this way. Since apps from the unknown sources aren’t commonly verified by the Google Play Store, neither Google nor your device manufacturer will take any responsibility if you lose data this way. Do your own homework before installing apps from unknown sources.
Unless Needed, Don’t Root
Android devices offer system core access if a device is rooted, but unless you absolutely need it, don’t root an Android device. Every app on the smartphone might get access to the phone’s core system, including the malwares.
Following these practices could get a user a smooth usage experience on Android ecosystem. Additionally, a security app might be installed for better protection.