I am the only IT expert at Raffingers Stuart; therefore viruses are a bane of my life. Far too much of my time is spent between educating the team on preventing viruses and removing them from infected machines. It still surprises me how many people do not take security seriously. More recently, with the ‘new kid on the block’ (aka Android devices) getting more and more popular among people and businesses. I have had to ensure that the team know how to protect their devices, so that both their personal data and the company’s data are safe. As with everything, prevention is always better than a cure; so, when I came across the following tips I felt compelled to share. These tips are crucial and should keep any Android phone safe.
1. Password Protect your Device
- The Lock Screen. Without setting up a lock screen anyone can access your phone, and ultimately your data. This should be the first thing you do when you get a new device.
- Phone Storage Encryption. If you wish to be extra protective of your data, you can set up an encryption password. This will keep your storage data safe, but will also mean you will have to input two passwords before using your device, as it requires the lock screen to be in place too.
- SIM Card Lock. With this you will have to enter a PIN in order to access your SIM card. This will need to be entered every time you start your phone.
- Steer clear of unsecure networks. This is important when you are working on an ‘open’ wireless network. Make sure you only share data when on a secure wireless network that is password protected.
- Only download approved applications from your device’s ‘Play Store’. Many third-party installs can be safe, but you can never be 100% sure. Is it worth taking the risk?
- Always read the permissions – what will the app need to access in order to work? Make sure you are aware of this and weigh up the risk.
4. Anti-Malware Applications
- Install an anti-malware app and regularly use to scan your device for possible viruses.
5. Secure Update Scanner
- Install and regularly use this app. Like the anti-malware app it will scan your device for possible viruses, but will look specifically at apps that need updating – some apps contain hidden malware that is only released when the app is updated.
6. Bluetooth and hotspot services
- Turn these off when you are not using them. Not only will this save your battery, but it will leave your device less open to security breaches.
7. Location Settings
- The majority of applications now always keep track of your location. If you don’t want people to know where you are at every minute, ensure you disable your location settings and only switch on when required. This also will protect your data usage as your apps will not be constantly roaming.
These are some quick wins that if implemented can give you the peace of mind that your device is properly secured. Don’t take any chances.