A few basic rules will help you boost your phone’s protective barrier.
- Install system updates promptly.
Manufacturers usually make new updates for operating systems and devices available monthly. If the system notifies you that a new update is available, install it as quickly as possible. This ensures that even potential security gaps are always closed. Also, don’t forget to update installed apps regularly. These updates eliminate problems, but often also potential security gaps.
- Use a screen lock.
Securing the device with an individual PIN, a password, a locking pattern, or a fingerprint forms the basis for more security on an Android smartphone. If it falls into the wrong hands, neither a finder nor a thief can get to the data. You will find the options for doing this in the device settings. The best way is to use the search function in Settings to find the “Screen Lock” function. When setting up a lock, Android asks if it should apply when the phone is turned on. It is advisable to choose “Yes” to secure the device immediately. Under “Security”, the latest Android versions also offer the option of encrypting the internal memory. However, that often compromises the speed of the system overall. For this reason, you will have to weigh whether the increased security is worth it.
- Enable the device search function.
The “Find my device” function allows you to locate a lost or stolen smartphone. To do this, the following must apply:
- The device must be switched on.
- You must be logged into a Google account.
- The device must be connected to a mobile data or Wi-Fi network.
- It must be visible on Google Play.
- Location services must be enabled.
- The “Find my device” function must be enabled.
However, manufacturers’ modifications to Android do not always make it easy to enable this function. Look for “Find my device” or “Security & location” in the smartphone’s settings.
- Perform regular backups.
Numerous manufacturers have developed their own apps for regular backups and pre-install them on devices. Many apps provide their own data backup function. Use these services to protect your valuable data from being lost. This will make it easier to set up a new smartphone in the future.
- Delete your data before giving the device away.
If you want to sell the smartphone or simply no longer need it, return it to its factory settings. You will find the function in the phone’s settings. Do not forget to remove any additional memory cards.
It is also strongly recommended that you review the permissions for apps.