How to Improve Privacy in Android Phones?

Your Android phone is one of those devices which contain a lot of your personal details. This includes your contacts, location, hangouts, photos, online accounts, passwords, account activity, etc.
We managed to take complete advantage of the FREE services provided by Google or other services. But failed to realize how much of our privacy was at stake.

Google offers the best software services without any doubt but it tends to grant various accesses to your data. Normally, we might have clicked on the “I accept” button many times, without even reading it. Doing so, we ended up surrendering our privacy to Android’s use.

Do you realise how much of your data is at stake?

Well, it isn’t too late. In this article, we cover all the interesting ways in which you can safeguard your phone’s privacy.

8 ways to improve your Android Privacy –

With the growing scandals and cases threatening our privacy, such as the Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica Scandal, there is a definite need for us to improve our phone’s privacy.

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Android does have certain issues concerning the user’s privacy. Well, this doesn’t mean we end up throwing away our Android smart phones or switching to iOS.

There’s still hope with Android so here are 8 interesting ways through which your Android phone’s privacy is well-protected –

1) Security Check-up –

One of the best ways to secure your Google account or accounts is to check out Google’s Security Check-up tool. You can do so by clicking here. It includes 2FA, i.e. Two Factor Authentication; hence it gives an extra layer of protection to your phone.

You could remove all your old Android devices which are not of any use now. All you need to do is select your profile icon which is present at the top right corner. Also, you could select multiple accounts and run a security check on all of them.

2) Protecting via Lock Screens –

This is one of the most obvious tips that you must follow. Yet there are many who tend to neglect this very important step.

A basic PIN, or a pattern, or a password, or even a simple swiping gesture could turn out to be your saving seconds. But the most effective is Finger-Print. Also, it is advised to keep these security locks for certain apps including your banking applications. This would be very useful if in case you get robbed.

To enable a lock screen security, just do the following –
Go to Settings >Tap on Security >Select Screen Lock.

3) Google Drive Back-ups – Good or bad?

With Android phones there is an interesting feature to automatically back-up your files, apps, device settings, call history, etc. to the cloud.
In a way it seems good. But imagine, all your passwords, and other delicate data are backed-up.

Don’t worry; you can disable this by doing the following –
Go to Settings > Select ‘Google’ menu > Tap on ‘Backup’ > Disable ‘Backup to Google drive’.
You could also do the same on your Google Drive app or website to be on the safer side.

4) Find my Phone and tracking activity –

Image result for Find my Phone and tracking activity android phones

This feature helps you to find your phone if you’ve misplaced it. It doesn’t occur through magic, rather it tracks your phone’s last known location.

Again, this seems good in a way as it can wipe out your phone’s data before falling into wrong hands. But it sure seems like someone is invading your privacy.

You can enable or disable it by doing the following –
Go to Settings >Select ‘Google’ > Tap on Security > Choose ‘Find My Device’.

Google also tends to keep track of your activity like which site you’ve visited, apps, videos, etc. Although it isn’t sent to any third-party apps, yet it’s weird why anyone keeps of track of it. You could click here to choose certain categories or disable as a whole.

5) Hide notifications –

The weirdest yet obvious way to invade someone’s privacy is by peeping into your phone. Yes, people do that.
So how can you avoid those preying eyes at your personal information or conversations?
It can be done in two ways:

  • Go to Settings > Select
    Customize the notifications of your favorite apps. Most importantly block them from popping on your lock screen.
  • Next easy way is to use a Chat Mask which blocks your screen partially or completely.
    Click here to know more about Chat Mask.

6) Switch browsers –

Even if you disable your location, Google tends to track your activity when you do a simple search on Chrome.

So the best way to avoid this is by switching your browser. For example, you could switch to Firefox which doesn’t track the user’s activity.
You could also go another step ahead and opt for a search engine such as DuckDuckGo, which doesn’t track your activity. Hence, you could protect your privacy and browse all you want.

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7) Encryption and VPN –

Encryption is considered as the best way to protect your privacy on all the communication done via your Android phone. It can be found near Lock Screen settings.

Luckily, few apps have added on end-to-end encryption which makes communication more secure. Some examples are Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, Snapchat, etc.

Also, you could hide your IP address and encrypt your web browsing by using a VPN (Virtual Private Networks) service.

8) App Permissions –

Play Store is indeed reliable but have you ever paid attention to the Access Permissions?

Usually we just click on “Accept” and continue. But at times few apps, especially few free apps might end up being suspicious. It requires just a bit of patience to find out.

If you find a particular app is asking permission to certain stuffs on your phone, without actually needing them, then clearly there’s something wrong. For example, a flash light app asking permission for Wi-Fi, USB storage, etc…

In order to check on the permissions do the following –
Go to Settings -> Select Apps -> click the gear icon -> Tap on App Permissions. Also, make sure to read reviews about privacy and security provided by the app.

Bonus Tip –  

As a bonus tip, remember to keep your Location disabled for most of the time. Also, use strong passwords with a mix of alpha-numeric characters and change your passwords frequently.
It’s wise for you to keep different passwords for various apps, especially banking apps.

It’s indeed a big list, but well, Precaution is always better than Cure so make the most out of these tips and secure yourself.

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Navaneetha Suresh

Navaneetha Suresh

Navaneetha, commonly known as "nav", loves to read, play badminton, play the keyboard and sing but when she's not doing any of those, she loves to write. What started as a high school hobby to write is now her ongoing passion.

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