How to make my Android mobile more secure through its settings?

How to make my Android mobile more secure through its settings

Android mobiles or cell phones are secure by default as google provides a set of cloud-based services that are available to compatible Android devices with Google Mobile Services.  While these services aren’t part of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), they are included on many Android devices.

The primary Google security services are:

  • Google Play: Google Play is a collection of services that allow users to discover, install, and purchase apps from their Android device or the web. Google Play also provides community review, app license verification, app security scanning, and other security services.
  • Android updates: The Android update service delivers new capabilities and security updates to selected Android devices, including updates through the web or over the air (OTA).
  • App services: Frameworks that allow Android apps to use cloud capabilities such as app data and settings and cloud-to-device messaging for push messaging.
  • Verify Apps: Warn or automatically block the installation of harmful apps, and continually scan apps on the device, warning about or removing harmful apps.
  • SafetyNet: A privacy preserving intrusion detection system to assist Google tracking, mitigate known security threats, and identify new security threats.
  • SafetyNet Attestation: Third-party API to determine whether the device is CTS compatible. Attestation can also identify the Android app communicating with the app server.
  • Android Device Manager: A web app and Android app to locate lost or stolen device.
Google Cloud

Full-time Android security team members monitor the Android-specific and the general security community for discussion of potential vulnerabilities and review security bugs filed on the Android bug database. Upon the discovery of legitimate issues, the Android team has a response process that enables the rapid mitigation of vulnerabilities to ensure that potential risk to all Android users is minimized. These cloud-supported responses can include updating the Android platform (AOSP updates), removing apps from Google Play, and removing apps from devices in the field.

Also the Android security team provides monthly updates to Google Android devices and all Android device manufacturing partners.

All things said and done here are the ways to make my Android mobile more secure through its settings

App permissions

Many Android apps are never able to access your personal data or any part of your phone unless you explicitly give ’em permission to do so. On latest Android versions there are new app permission options.

You can now let apps access your location only when they’re actively in use, instead of all the time as of Android 10 and approve certain permissions only on a one-time, limited-use basis as of Android 11. As  any apps that were already on your phone by the time these upgrades arrived would’ve already had full, unrestricted access to those areas of your device. It’s up to you to revisit ’em and update their settings as needed.

For this go to the Privacy section of your system settings and find the “Permission manager” line. That’ll show you a list of all available system permissions, including especially sensitive areas such as location, camera, and microphone the same three areas, incidentally, that can be limited to one-time use only on any phone running Android 11. If you don’t see a “Permission manager” option on your phone, try looking in the Apps section instead. You can then pull up one app at a time there and find its permissions that way. Tap on a specific permission, and you’ll see a breakdown of exactly which apps are authorized to use the permission in what way.

You can then tap on any app to adjust its level of access and bring it down a notch, when applicable, or remove its access to the permission entirely.

Google play protect

Google Play Protect

Google Play Protect is Android’s native security system that, among other things, continuously scans your phone for any signs of misbehaving apps and warns you if anything suspicious emerges.

Though Play Protect is up and running on your phone already buy you can check it again if its not disabled.  To do so, just open up the Security section of your Android system settings. Tap the line labeled “Google Play Protect,” then tap the gear icon in the upper-right corner and make sure the toggles there are activated.

Back on the main Play Protect screen, you’ll see a status update showing you that the system is active and working. It works entirely on its own, automatically, but you can always trigger a manual scan of your apps on that same page, if you’re ever so inclined

Secure your chrome

While Chrome’s Safe Browsing mode is enabled by default, though, the app has a newer and more effective version of the same system called Enhanced Safe Browsing. So it’s up to you to enable and opt in to it.

  • On your Android device, open Chrome .
  • At the top right, select More on  Settings .
  • Under “Sync and Google services,” select the level of Safe Browsing you want to use.

Turning on Enhanced Safe Browsing will substantially increase protection from dangerous websites and downloads. By sharing real-time data with Google Safe Browsing, Chrome can proactively protect you against dangerous sites. If you’re signed in, Chrome and other Google apps you use (Gmail, Drive, etc) will be able to provide improved protection based on a holistic view of threats you encounter on the web and attacks against your Google Account.

Lock screen limitations

Android typically shows notifications on your lock screen by default  which means the contents of emails or other messages you receive might be visible to anyone who looks at your device, even if they can’t unlock it.

On your Android settings step up your security and privacy game, you can restrict how much notification info is shown on your lock screen by going to the Privacy section of your system settings, tapping the line labeled “Notifications on lock screen,” and then changing its setting from “Show all notification content” to either “Show sensitive content only when unlocked” which will filter your notifications and put only those deemed as “not sensitive” onto the lock screen or “Don’t show notifications at all” and it will not show any notifications on your lock screen whatsoever.

Smart lock

Smart Lock

Android’s Smart Lock feature  let you automatically keep your phone unlocked whenever you’re in a trusted place like your home or even when you’re connected to a trusted Bluetooth device, like a smartwatch, some earbuds, or your car’s audio system.

Look for the “Screen Lock” option in the Security section of your system settings — or the Lock Screen section, on a Samsung phone  to explore the possibilities.

  • Navigate to your device’s settings.
  • Tap Security and Location, then select “Smart Lock.”
  • Enter your screen lock pin, pattern, or password
  • Select either On-body detection, or opt to set up a trusted place (depending on your preference).

 For on-body detection: On the next screen, simply switch that option on.

To set up a trusted place: Either let your phone use your current location, or turn on “high accuracy or battery-saving location mode” (you’ll want to have Wi-Fi access for either option).

For those with Chromebooks, Smart Lock allows you to unlock your laptop using your Android device. You can also send and receive texts from your Chromebook.

You can use Google Smart Lock to unlock your Chromebook using an Android device.

You’ll need to have Chrome OS version 71 or newer, Android version L-MR1 or newer, and you need to be signed into your Google account on both devices.

Assuming you meet those requirements, here’s how to turn it on:

  • At the bottom right of your Chromebook’s screen, select the time.
  • Select “Settings.”
  • Under “Connected Devices,” choose the “Set up” option next to your Android device.
  • Enter your password and follow the steps when prompted (you’ll get a confirmation message on your phone).
  •  Under “Enabled” select the options you want to turn on.

You may get a prompt to set this up, in which case you’ll only need to select “Accept and Continue” followed by “Done.” You’ll then get a confirmation message.

Google Smart Lock can also sync your passwords across your various devices. So, provided it’s on, you’ll easily be able to sign into your Chrome browser or Android device.

On both Chrome and Android devices, the option to offer to save passwords is automatically turned on.

For those on Chrome, you can manage your passwords by going to your Google account, then select “Security” in the left sidebar followed by “Password Manager.” From there, you’ll be able to see, change or remove passwords that have been saved to your Google account.

Google Smart Lock also refers to the password manager used by Google Chrome. On an Android device, you’ll manage your passwords by going to your “Settings,” and clicking on “Google” then “Google Account.” Next, tap “Security.” Under “Signing into other sites,” select “Saved Passwords.” You can block certain sites or apps from saving your passwords under the section titled “Blocked.”

Also on your Android phone’s system settings, tap “Manage your Google Account,” and then scroll across that top row to select the “Security” tab. Find and tap “2-Step Verification” and follow the steps to set things up.

Screen pinning

Screen pinning

Screen pinning makes it possible for you to lock a single app or process to your phone and then require a password or fingerprint authentication before anything else can be accessed. To use screen pinning, you’ll first need to activate it by opening that trusty ol’ Security section in your main system settings and then finding the line labeled “Screen pinning.” You’ll probably have to tap a line labeled “Advanced” or “Other security settings” in order to reveal it. Turn the feature on and also make sure the toggle to “Ask for unlock pattern before unpinning” is activated.

Now, the next time you’re about to place your phone in someone else’s hands, first open up your system Overview interface — either by swiping up from the bottom of your screen and holding your finger down, if you’re using Android’s gesture system, or by pressing the square-shaped button, if you’re still hanging onto the old-school three-button nav setup.

On any phone running reasonably recent software, you’ll then tap the icon of the app you want to pin, directly above its card in that Overview area and you should see the Pin option.

Once you’ve tapped that, you won’t be able to switch apps, go back to your home screen, look at notifications, or do anything else until you exit the pinning and unlock the device. To do that, with gestures, you’ll swipe up from the bottom of your screen and hold your finger down — and with the old three-button nav setup, you’ll press the Back and Overview buttons at the same time.

Besides all these settings that you do to make your Android mobile more secure you can also perform an Android security audit. Here is how to perform yourself android security audit and be all safe and secure when using your Android mobile.

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