Information our phone has regarding interests, location, and more from our text messages, phone calls, photos, browser history, apps, news, social media accounts, map locations etc. is very personal to us. We would always like to keep it safe and out of bound of unwanted hands. TGB takes you through some of the basic steps to ensure the privacy and personal data is safe without spending a penny.
Secure Your Lock Screen
The lock screen is the first level of security to protect your phone. In today’s times our smartphones store some of our personal information, from where we live, who we message, to our emails, and private documents. It is very essential that the lock screen is enabled , which can block access by unauthorized people and apps.
To start Lock Screen protection, go to Settings > Security > Screen Lock. You can choose to secure your device with a password, pin code or pattern unlock. For some latest devices with a fingerprint scanner built into your phone one can also use fingerprint as a biometric security.
Encrypt Your Phone
Encrypted device makes the information in it inaccessible – until it is unlocked. This implies that even the device is lost or stolen, the information stored is safe and remain untouched.
To enable encryption navigate to Settings > Security > Encryption. Turning on encryption also forces you to set a lock screen protection, further improving your against to gain access to your data.
Stop Giving Away Your Location
Location is one of the most private data tracked by GPS enabled devices. It can be used by apps like Google Maps or some apps. But remember every more is tracked by these apps.
Of course, you don’t have to have location turned on all time. The “high accuracy” location mode provide the detailed location. To stop sharing this mode then go into Settings > Location and change the type of location between High accuracy, Battery saving and Device only. Alternatively, you can also toggle individual permissions for each app, so that you can prevent the app from accessing your location.
Change Your Ad Settings
This is an undeniable truth that websites need adverts to keep themselves running and give us the content ‘free’ of cost. This is the way many of our favorite apps survive on the Play Store. There is an important setting on the android device one can change — “interest-based advertising”.
To opt-out of interest-based advertising just go to Settings > Google > Ads and toggle the setting On.
Interest-based ads use a profile of user with information like location, gender, age range, what sites you visit and thereby customize your in-app ads. It is better to opt out of these ads by changing the setting.
Don’t Install Apps From Outside The Play Store
Most of us have used the Play Store to install and update different android apps. The Play Store is the largest app store for Android. The Play Store takes care of its inventory of approved apps on its platform and therefore apps from Play Store are safer to install. But there are apps available on web which can be risky to download and install.
To safeguard yourself, just change this setting by going to Settings > Security and toggle Unknown Sources on and off.
In most cases there is no need to install apps from outside the Play Store so it is wise to keep this setting turned off.