There is no wonder, that Android devices are the most popular among developers and other tech specialists. There are several reasons for this, but our next post is not about this. We’d like to talk about data security and protection of your device. News about viruses and data hacking of smartphones is heard on regular daily basis nowadays. The high transparency of the Android platform has made it the leader in the mobile devices market, but at the same time, this has made it a desired piece of pie for mobile hackers. How can you protect the data on your Android in this case? Check out in our blog post below.
Specialists from Kaspersky Lab have prepared 10 simple piece of advice that will help to protect the data on your smartphone or tablet. The same advice could be applied to iOS devices, but this probably will the topic of our next blog post.
For sure, some of this advice can cause some inconveniences in the daily use of your smartphone, but that is the price for a general-purpose rule – either comfort or safety. Eventually, you can use parts of the presented recommendations and form your own personal optimal protection case.
1. Purchase mobile apps only at Google Play or other official stores
Yes, it’s true. The most important part of Android is not its platform, but the apps that are developed for this platform. So it’s better not to download and install apps from third-party resources. The best point is to disable all the possibility of downloading and updating of software from third-party sources and to turn on a built-in testing option for new apps. Also it’s better to decline root-access as it significantly increases the level of a data virus.
2. Keep track of what actions are allowed for apps
First, it’s necessary to install only those apps that are developed by known developers or recommended by Google. Second, it’s necessarily to check what access is requested by an app before installing it. For example, if it’s an app with wallpapers but requesting access to your email account, contacts, location or microphone, than this looks strange.
So you should always check the list of permissions for an app.
3. Use strong passwords
The most popular advice. But at the same time, the most useful.
To unlock the screen, it’s better to use a strong password instead of using graphical key or PIN-code. Password, as usual, should contain at least ten letters, one uppercase letter and number. Another good idea is to change the password on a regular basis. It’s also worth setting the minimum possible interval for auto-lock of the screen and disable the displaying of any password you type. Also you can set up a password for accessing different apps.
4. Encrypt your data
If the data is encrypted on your device, then even if you lose your phone its data won’t fall into the wrong hands. To protect your phone’s data it is better to set a password, instead of PIN-code. The only bad part of this is that you will need to enter it every time you use your phone. In the most current versions of the Android OS the encryption depends on how strong your password is.
5. Keep track of the connect Wi-Fi networks
Android devices connect to known wireless networks on default. It’s possible that your device could connect to a malicious network just because it’s named similar to the familiar network hotspot. It’s better to avoid public access points, as well as to clean the list of known networks at least once per one or two weeks. You can also disable the tracking of wireless networks.
6. Always use VPN
Thais is really important if you use open access networks. Using a VPN will protect your transmitted data and, as a bonus, will help you to connect to sites and resources that have some kind of access restrictions. Nowadays, access to a reliable VPN is cheap enough, while some home routers have their own VPN-servers. Specialists from Kaspersky Lab advice to use L2TP or OpenVPV instead of PPTP as these protocols provide better data protection.
7. Disable notifications
Notifications can appear on the screen even if it’s locked. Among some useless notifications, there may be such important ones as codes for financial transactions, messages on a bank account status and others. Unfortunately, there is not a single point of disabling notifications in Android devices. So you have to disable notifications manually for every single application.
8. Configure Google services settings
Google tries to know as much as possible about all its users. It’s better to reduce the amount of data provided to Google services, as if you lose your access to your Google account than the consequences can be terrible. It’s a good idea is to turn off the location services with sending location reports in all accounts settings. Also it’s better to turn off Google Now and disable the automatic sending of all photos to Google’s servers.
9. Delete the apps that you don’t use
It’s also the same as described in advice number 1 and 2. The more apps you have, the large the chance of getting your data hacked. Moreover, many companies that use the Android platform on their devices, install lots of third-party apps and services before you purchase it. Even if you don’t use them, it does not mean that their developers don’t use your data for their own purposes.
10. Turn on two-factor authentication for Google and other apps
Two-factor authentication is the not just the must but also the only useful way of protecting any account on any device. The principle of this is quite simple – you’re required to provide a temporary one-time code which can be received by SMS, instead of just entering a password. Without this code, the hacker won’t be able to sign into your account, even if the password is known.
If all of this advice is not new for you and you have all the needed skills of Android development, then Softheme can have some interesting proposition for you. Check the open vacancy of Android Developer with all the details on the HR site of our company (rus) – http://softheme.ua/android-developer/
- Information Security Trends that Will Dominate 2015 (softheme-blog-2017)