Ways to Protect Android Data
Smartphones these days are home to the most sensitive information about our lives. It can easily house all the things we know and even all the things we keep forgetting about. Our smartphones know who we are, our closest contacts, and the things we have talked about with our family and friends. It may even know your user log-ins as well as your financial details.
With all the things we keep in our Android devices, it is scary to think that we can easily lose all that data if we aren’t careful. Losing it isn’t the worst part though. The worst case would be that some stranger with a malicious intent gets hold of all that data about you. It’s a scary world full of people who want to take advantage of other people.
We protect our computers from viruses, malware and all other means of stealing our data. Now that smartphones hold more information about us that some computer systems, it may be time for your to take the protection of your data seriously.
Grab an Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware
Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware software has become a necessity for Android. No matter how tight Google tries to keep the Play Store from being infested by malicious apps, there are still a lot of them that could get through the cracks. Just recently, a malware was discovered in the Play Store which can infect both the Android device as well as the PC it connects to.
If your smartphone can handle the loss of space, why not get an Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware app? It doesn’t have to constantly run like on a PC environment. Android malware currently has one way to really execute in our phones – through an installation. Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware applications usually activate when you install an app. You can also manually force them to scan your system. It doesn’t have to run all the time; it just has to be ready when needed.
Popular PC brands have made Android a second home. Kaspersky, McAfee, Avast!, and other PC Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware brands have entered the Play Store for your convenience.
Consider Anti-Theft Protection
Theft is something that may have declined over some time, but it is still happening all around us. There are many cases where theft could be prevented given the right protection at the right time. Sometimes, it doesn’t even have to be all about theft. Apps can also protect your from losing your Android powered devices due to neglect.
Anti-Theft services pretty much work in similar ways. While it does call it “Anti-Theft” it is more like Thief Tracking. With powerful app solutions like Lookout and Norton Anti-Theft services, you get to track your phone remotely with several tools at your side.
You can use a different phone to send SMS commands to your phone to turn on the protection mode. These devices often turn on all radios such as GPS and Wi-Fi in hopes of pinpointing its current location. The phone also alerts you if a new SIM is inserted along with the number used so you know where to send your SMS commands. You can have your phone remotely take pictures to help you locate your device. The best part is that these Anti-Theft apps can usually lock down or even remotely wipe the data on your smartphone to prevent theft of data.
Lockdown your Device
Thieves, nosy friends and equally nosy relatives sometimes love taking a look at your phone’s data while you are not looking. They may very well strike when you sleep, or maybe when you are taking your lengthy bath. Access to data on your phone is pretty easy. It has been streamlined for ease of use for the owner. Of course, our goal here is to help prevent those non-owners from easily messing with your device.
Data theft is not the only problem presented by a non-locked device. I am sure that at one point or another, you may have a friend that was pranked by someone who had access to a Facebook account or maybe their login credentials. You may have noticed very uncharacteristic posts or purely embarrassing posts on their timeline. This is easily possible in an unlocked smartphone since it doesn’t ask the user to log in just to post.
Do you see the importance of a locked device now? Fortunately, Android supports several locking mechanisms natively on the OS level. Many of you should be familiar with the PIN lock, which is one of the most secure forms of locking the device.
There are also locks that are easier to remember but are also highly secure such as the ever popular Pattern Lock. This secure lock is a staple in Android and is one of the unique features in the device. Speaking of unique features, Android also introduced Face Unlock with their Ice Cream Sandwich update. This allows you to unlock your device with your face. It is not 100% secure, but it is fun and cool to use.
While OEMs and Google have been trying to improve the facial recognition and presence recognition of their Face Unlock service, there are those who saw an even better potential. Using the same front facing camera, several apps now allow you to take photos of who tried to unlock the device and failed. This allows you a perfect shot of whoever attempted to access your phone without your permission. It is a great way to catch a thief or an aspiring prankster.
Another great way to catch unauthorized users is with motion trigger alarms. If you are sure you wouldn’t touch your phone or tablet for a while, like when you are sleeping, you can configure the device to set off a loud alarm and maybe even a “gotcha” message if someone moved the device from its resting spot, sort of like what Jorli’s Anti Theft Alarm app does.
Hide Applications and Files
There will be times when we can’t keep the phone locked, or you are the type that doesn’t keep their phone locked in the presence of family or friends. Still, there are some things you would rather have kept hidden from the world. There are several apps in the Play Store like the Hide it Pro which allows you to keep files like photos, music, videos, apps and other data completely hidden while the main OS is accessible. It encrypts the data so it isn’t available through a PC connection either.
The best part is that you can prevent people from using certain apps that you don’t want them to mess with. Say for example, the messaging applications. You want to let them browse the phone and maybe play a game or two, but you won’t let them launch your messenger apps and see your private conversations. It protects your data and keeps everyone happy at the same time.
Have Root Access
Security is everyone’s business. Whether you want to protect your data or simply protect your identity, there is a safety precaution or method built just for you. There are plenty of apps there to enjoy. You know what can make your device even more secure? Root access.
Root Access and the coupled root permissions application allow you to manually protect your device from exploits and unauthorized access to the root directory. Root access also allows you unlock several features from the apps that we mentioned before.
Root access is necessary for turning on GPS and Mobile data remotely. It is also necessary if you want to make sure that a security program survives a data wipe so you can keep using it to track your thief down. Don’t you just love it when they can’t do anything against your powerful tools?