How to stay safe using Android

Read this article if you want to know how to keep your personal and financial data private and secure when using an Android smartphone. Learn the safe methods of using your smartphone and the things you should avoid doing.

Keeping safe while using your mobile device is a major concern for many people nowadays. The combination of government surveillance and espionage from certain foreign governments, together with the malwares which are often found in Android apps including ones that are readily available on the Play store, is intimidating at the very least. It was admitted by major names in the internet security business such as Norton that the segregated Apple shop is simply safer than Android.

With all of the above being said, Android phones are still significantly more popular than iPhones. The cost of phones ranges in between 5 and 50 per cent of the cost of a brand new iPhone, and the environment is more flexible, and the operating system is more intuitive for many people.

In this article, we will review methodologies that Android users can apply to their daily usage in order to keep on the safe side and avoid the plethora of risks lurking in the dark corners of the internet. The best way around hazards is to be aware of their existence without developing paranoia or an obsession. Unless you are a government official or someone holding a very vulnerable position in a company, the chances are that no one will be targeting you specifically, and even if you get infected or put under government surveillance, it will have little to no impact on your life.

Below are the top 10 best methodologies to keep safe while using an Android mobile device:

  1. Only buy your phone from known vendors who have been in the business for a while and are licensed to sell these devices. Do not be tempted to lower prices by "unofficial" distributors or worse than all street vendors. These lowlives will often pre-install malicious software in your phone to make a little extra money.
  2. Avoid downloading apps directly that were not approved by the Play Store. It's true that the Play store is not 100% accurate and trojans and other malware do slip through from time to time, but 99.9% of all malicious software is identified by Google with ease and will never be offered on the Play Store.
  3. Even if you do download any application make sure it's a valid application with a sufficient amount of people who have downloaded and used it before you did. You should not only look at the raw stats but delve into reading user experience on the review section in the Play Store to hear people's opinions and make sure these reviews sound genuine and are not generated by the app's makers.
  4. Do not enable publishers to auto-update their apps without your confirmation, especially small apps like games that are developed by unknown companies. The reason is that many evil developers like to stuff malicious software on updates - in essence, they release an innocent-looking app in the Play Store, get it approved, and use their existing database to stuff malware later on.
  5. Use real and different passwords for all the apps you are using. Insist on double-factor or triple-factor authentication. This will make your personal data inaccessible to hackers even if your device has been breached.
  6. Use VPN software at all times. There are many Android VPN apps on the market which are affordable and usable, and won't slow down your speed to a large degree. These VPN apps will help conceal your connection and make it less prone to surveillance. In essence, this is an animosity-oriented tool that will enable you to keep under the radar.
  7. Do not type in any vulnerable information while being connected to a Wifi. In layman's words, Wifi routers are easy to hack into, are often unprotected entirely, and once a malicious entity has control of those they can easily access your device as well.
  8. Always update the app and operating system with the most recent update patches. The reason is that oftentimes these updates are a result of a known vulnerability that was discovered and fixed. As soon as something like this takes place, hackers who become firstly familiar with the vulnerability are actively searching for non-updated software to abuse it.
  9. Don't forget that one of the security hazards of a phone is that it's a device that is easy to physically steal from your possession. Hence you have to be extra careful about where you keep it. As an extra layer of protection, you should be using a fairly complex password (better to use letters over patterns) which will prevent someone stealing it from activating it and accessing apps like your bank account or your credit card.
  10. If you want to go for the ultra-extra safe you can always use encryption for all the data stored in your phone. It may slow it down and make some actions more difficult to execute but it will ultimately prevent wrongdoers from exporting data from your phone if they ever hack into it or simply take it.
Additional to the above, a valid risk for your security, whether you are using Android or iPhone, a PC or a Mac, will be scam emails. These emails are getting a lot more sophisticated than they once were, and even fairly savvy individuals have been failing at detecting them as such. What most perpetrators nowadays do is called Phishing - they mimic their email address to look like an official email from a well-respected company and use the normal templates this company would normally use to email clients. They will ask you to log in to change your password for whichever reason (password has expired, or that they have detected a security threat), and once you click on the "log in" button you will be transferred to a copycat site which essentially looks the same as the original site, hosted on a similarish domain (think of a domain name ï instead of Once you log in with your old password, the hackers receive it and are able to hack into your account.

To summarize, if you want to keep safe with your Android device there are many things you could be doing that are not all that time-consuming or costly. Even using an Android VPN, a designated software, will only cost you $5/month on average. All other suggestions put here shouldn't cost you anything extra and are likely to make you a lot less prone to a situation in which your security is breached.


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