Better to be safe than sorry
Your smartphone is more than just a phone. It contains your cherished photos and work calendar. A lifetime of contacts and apps. It’s important that it’s secure.
Android smartphones have got loads of security features. Your messages and emails are protected by built-in encryption and before apps make it to the Google Play Store they’re ‘given rigorous security testing’.
But what about if you lose your phone, or worse, it’s stolen? What if your data falls into the wrong hands and you have to pay the bill?
These four security tips should give you some peace of mind…
1. Protect your phone with a screen lock
It’ll be much harder for anyone to access your phone if you have set a screen lock. Set one up and the only way anyone can get into your device is by typing in your chosen password or pin, or drawing your unique pattern on the screen.
Set up screen lock:
From your phone’s apps menu go: Settings > Security > Screen lock
Did you know? Some Android phones have a biometric fingerprint scanner so you can unlock your phone with a tap.
2. Make it your own with a Google account
Android is made by Google so it works really well with Google apps. Things like Gmail, Google Docs and Google Now are great on Android phones.
So it makes sense to add your Google account. You’ll get more from your phone, but it also helps secure your phone if stolen or lost.
The Google account makes your phone much less appealing to thieves wanting to sell it on. Why? Because it stops them being able to do a factory reset on your phone.
How to add your Google account:
From your phone’s apps menu go: Settings > Accounts > Add account
3. Android Device Manager - remote lock
Still looking for further peace of mind? How about being able to lock or wipe your phone even after it has gone missing?
You can do this with your Android phone. First, activate Android Device Manager in your settings – and make sure you’ve signed up for a Google account.
If you’re unlucky enough to lose your phone, you can then:
- Ring your phone at full volume for five minutes – it’ll ring out even if on silent so anyone close should hear
- Lock your phone by creating a new password (if you haven’t already set a lock screen)
- Erase your phone – this performs a factory reset to keep your messages and work emails from the wrong hands
You can either do this from the Android Device Manager website, or through the app on your Android tablet or a friend or family member’s phone.
4. Add a phone number to your lock screen
If your phone has been lost rather than stolen it may well be found by someone who wants to return it but doesn’t know how. You can make it easy for them to do this by adding a phone number to your lock screen after it has been lost – obviously not the number of the lost phone though.
So when someone finds the phone, your home number or work digits will flash on the lock screen.
To set this up:
- Go to the Android Device Manager website and sign in to your Google account
- Select ‘Lock’
Type the number you’d like to be called on in the ‘phone number (optional)’ field