Here’s a simple guide to increasing privacy and security on your Android-based mobile phone or tablet.
Android comes with some privacy tools built-in. However, depending on your device and its manufacturer, Android’s privacy features may not be enabled by default. Plus, there are additional tools you can install to make your device more secure and private.
These actions will help make Android more private:
- Turn on the lock screen and enable a password to prevent unauthorized access. These steps are so basic that they can be easy to overlook — but they’re vital for privacy.
- Install an anti-theft app. We recommend Prey. With a tool like Prey, you can lock your device remotely and recover information if it is lost or stolen.
- Encrypt your phone calls and texts with apps like RedPhone and Signal.
- Uninstall any apps you don’t use. This keeps your device more secure by reducing the opportunity hackers have to break into your system. It also gets rid of apps that might try to collect information about you — like the Google ones that usually come installed by default with Android (which is a Google platform, and therefore designed to help Google collect information).
- Install a VPN. Here’s a list of ones we like. A VPN will encrypt all of your online traffic, which is especially important if you are connected to an open wifi network while on the go. It also gives you access to blocked Web content.
- Consider using a fake identity to register your device. You can use a site like Fake Name Generator to get one.