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How to secure your Android phone

It's easy to keep it safe if you obey hese simple rules

Do you remember those good old days when Mac and iPhone users were bragging that their operating systems are impenetrable? Things have changed for the worse since then, though, and one of the newest iOS versions was hacked only a day after its release!

Now don't get me wrong; this doesn't mean that Android phones are 100% secure! They've got their security flaws, but by applying a few simple tweaks you can turn them into safe day-to-day companions. And this is exactly what this article is about.

1. The first tip will mostly apply to people who want to purchase a new smart phone: get a device from a company that is known to patch its products regularly. Did you know that Google releases monthly Android security patches? Sadly, most manufacturers don't follow Google's lead, leaving their users with vulnerable devices.

So, if you are looking for new phone, consider the idea of picking one that's manufactured by Google. Google Pixel phones aren't cheap, I know, but their hardware is of the highest quality, and you will know for sure that you will always hold in your hands a 100% safe device. LG is another company which produces good phones at affordable prices, and is known for releasing software updates for them on a regular basis.

2. Be sure to lock your phone. It's a basic security measure, I know, and yet very few people use it! Then, when disaster strikes (a thief snatches their phones, for example) all their data is exposed, and the pickpockets start spending the phone owner's hard-earned money. How does this happen? Most people install online banking applications on their phones, so thieves can purchase whatever they want using the already existing credit card information.

3. To harden your Android phone's security even more, go to its settings, and then choose "Encrypt Device". This way, all the data on it will be encrypted, and thus made inaccessible to any third parties.

4. Only install safe applications on your phone. This means that you should only download apps from the Play Store. Google's recently launched Play Protect service will perform a malware scan whenever you install a new program. The service can cover the basics, but if you want to sleep well at night, you should install an antivirus as well. I won't recommend a specific product, but there are several review sites that have tested the best ones and have drawn solid conclusions. Here's an example.

5. Uninstall the applications that you aren't actually using. As time goes by, some of their makers may add more and more intrusive permissions to the apps, making them collect and send your data to their servers without you knowing about it. Not only that, but some apps have serious security problems which may never be patched, allowing hackers to get into your phone. So, aim to have a minimum number of applications installed (the ones that you are actually using) and you will be fine.

6. Speaking of apps, be sure to check their permissions. If a game wants to access your camera or needs the permission to dial phone numbers, for example, that is definitely a fishy app and should be uninstalled right away.

7. Turn off the unused connections. If you are on the road, be sure to disable Wi-Fi. If the Bluetooth connection isn't needed, you should disable it as well. This will increase security and help you save some battery juice for better purposes.

These are seven basic, and yet very effective tips that will help you protect your Android phone. So, don't wait; apply them today!