The consolidation of Android as the most used operating system in mobile devices today has made it a target of several threats that continue to grow, a trend that has been seen in recent years. Currently, it is estimated that the number of smartphones and tablets that have installed this operating system, exceeds one billion and its use will continue to increase since now it will be possible to find it in other smart devices such as watches, televisions and even in cars.
In parallel, the amount and diversity of information that users store, process or transmit through these devices when they use Internet services such as email, social networks or online banking, contributes to increasing their importance and consequently, the interest of cybercriminals for the mobile platform. As a result, in recent years there has been an increase in the development of malicious software that targets this popular operating system.
The following functions are available for almost any Android mobile (regardless of its age) without the need to install third-party applications. These are the most basic security features that all users can (and should) configure as soon as they launch their Android mobile.
Track the location of your mobile with Android Device Manager
Google had historically left third parties with the responsibility to protect the device. However, during the last year, the company has introduced an improved its Android Device Manager, this allows you to locate, block or delete data remotely from your mobile. It is not a perfect system, but it is the least we should all have.
You do not have to install anything to locate your mobile, you can activate the Android Device Manager in the settings menu by following these instructions. If you have several Android devices, you can install this application to differentiate one from another. For example, if you have your phone with you but do not locate your tablet, you can use this app to call your tablet, even if it is silent.
Do not allow applications from unknown sources
Also in the section Device Settings> Security we find this security measure. We recommend keeping this option inactive.
We know that many of the dangers that lurk on the Internet are related to errors of the applications that we use. The developers create “patches” or solutions to the known security problems that are sent to us through the updates.
Therefore, a good security measure will be to establish that updates are made automatically.
In Android we must configure this option in Play Store> Settings> Update automatically.
Encryption adds an additional level of security if our phone falls into the hands of someone unwanted. Even if we have blocked access to the screen, it will not be difficult to obtain the contents of the phone through a computer, simply by connecting it to USB.
If we encrypt its contents, nobody will be able to read the files that we save there even though it can access them because the system will ask for a key necessary to decipher them that only we know.
It may seem obvious, but in the US, for example, 39% of mobile users, according to Consumer Reports, do not take any security measures with their mobile phone, including the screen lock. There are many predetermined ways in Android to do it, either through PIN, strokes, password or even facial identification. Use any of these methods, but use some. You can find all the possibilities in Settings> Security> Lock screen.
If you do not want to have to unlock your mobile when you’re at home, the Unlock with WiFi app deactivates the lock when you’re connected to your home’s WiFi.