There’s no denying it; your Android device is indispensable. You trust storing your life’s work on your Android smartphone and assume it is capable of protecting vital information. And, although you take security precautions, they may not be enough, leaving your device vulnerable.
Of course, you follow the advice of experts when it comes to protecting your device. Yes, you keep your Android updated and backup important data. And yes, you ensure your passwords are unique and impossible to crack. However, these may prove inadequate when it comes to shielding your smartphone.
If the notion of your device falling into the wrong hands, allowing access to strangers frightens you or keeps you awake at night worrying, there are additional steps you can implement to safeguard against this situation. Spending a bit of time enabling three crucial security settings on your Android can help protect your data and have you sleeping like a baby.
As with any instructions, note the following may vary depending on your device, manufacturer and the version of the operating system you are running.
Enable the Smart Lock feature for better security
Enabling this built-in feature is a must for protecting your Android. With the options of On-body detection, Trusted places, Trusted devices, Voice match, and Trusted face, Google has set the bar for smartphone protection. Here is how each one can help safeguard your device and data.
To enable Smart Lock, you must have a secure lock screen set first.
Here’s how to activate Smart Lock.
Go to device Settings and tap on Lock screen. Click on Smart Lock, your enter password/PIN, and enable the options you wish to utilize.
Movement is what On-body protection is all about and is ideal for runners, bikers, or those performing any physical activity. Initially activated by your password or PIN, this option will keep your device unlocked while your body is in motion. However, once you stop moving or set your phone down, it will lock and require you to re-enter your password or PIN to unlock.
If by chance your Android falls from your pocket during activity, your smartphone will lock up, providing it detects when it hits the ground.
Note: This option does not recognize whether it is you or someone else holding your phone and will not lock when given or taken by someone while in unlocked mode.
Turning on this additional option will further enhance your phone’s security. Trusted places will unlock your Android based on your location.
In the Smart Lock settings, you can designate particular areas, such as your home, to be ‘trusted,’ which will allow your device to remain unlocked until removed from this safe zone. You must have location turned on for this feature to work properly.
If you use your smartphone with Android Auto or wear an Android smartwatch, this option is essential. Once paired with specific Bluetooth devices, your Android phone will remain unlocked until unpaired.
Other options such as Voice Match and Trusted face can help protect your Android. While Voice Match is best for those times you are unable to navigate your phone with your fingers, the Trusted face feature (available on certain Android devices) will keep your smartphone unlocked as long as you are looking at the screen.
Add, edit or remove home location
This Google Maps feature is indispensable when it comes to hitting the road. Perfect for getting directions, avoiding traffic backups, and finding alternate routes is easy once you have entered your desired location. However, helpful Google Maps is during your travels you may want to consider editing or removing your home location to prevent that information from being viewed by others.
If you change companies or move to a new area, editing or deleting your old work or home addresses is recommended. In addition, your regular route information in Google Maps can be hidden, and your location history deleted. Not having this data available may prevent others from easily identifying where you work or live if you lose your Android.
Open Google Maps and click on the Menu tab in the upper left corner. Tap Your Places. Under the Labeled tab, you can set, edit, or remove home information.
To hide regular route data and delete location history, click on the Settings icon in the upper right corner within the Your places option. Under Personal content disable Regular routes to hide and tap on Delete all Location History, agree and click delete when the warning pop-up appears.
No, I am not talking about pinning your favorites to Pinterest boards. I am referring to a clever feature called Pin windows or screen pinning that can lock/pin a single app or process to your phone.
Once pinned, you will be required to provide authentication before regaining access. Enabling this setting is simple and is excellent for those times when you need to share your phone and want to prevent someone from accidentally or intentionally accessing certain data.
To enable Pin windows, go into device Settings and tap on Biometrics and security. Scroll down to Other security settings and tap on it. Locate Pin windows, toggle the option on.
After enabling Pin windows, tap once more to bring up the next screen which will include ‘how to pin’ instructions. Toggle on the option with Ask for PIN before unpinning.
NOTE: Apple users looking for similar tips? Check out our article on essential iPhone security settings.
How to shut off notifications on your Android
Considered essential for some, deemed obnoxious by most, notifications are a mainstay on Android devices. While the notification system was designed to provide a user with plenty of indispensable announcements, it is often fraught with marketing messages and senseless updates. Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to take control of those annoying notifications.