What do you do to secure your Android?

This is a very prominent subject among everyone, whether your on an Android, iPhone, Blackberry or any other mobile device for that matter. So I have to ask, what do you do to secure your Android device?

This could be anything from, encryption, password complexity, antivirus etc. There's been a lot of talk about which platform is more secure, how-to's and what not. But really what's all the fuss? I personally will blame it on the medias, social network promoting incorrect information or misguided information.

The fact is, regardless of the platform you'll be on and if your connected to the world... YOUR A TARGET. Whatever the scam maybe. In general it comes down to common sense and unfortunately a lot of adults, young adults and teens have none.

Let's review a few things that may ease all this tension that you have on the subject of security for your mobile device. Assume that everything you do is PUBLIC available to ANYONE. Did a light bulb just turn on? I sure hope it did! It's not because your sending a clad picture to your best friend or your lover that it may not end up on a server somewhere and then be release to the world. (FYI most carriers have a retention policy in place keeping text messages for up to 30 days and in some cases even longer depending om their own retention policy which you may not be preview to.)

Here's a list that I came up with:

- Strong password (How-to)
- USB Debugging (What is it?)
- Unknown Sources (Installing APK's from other sources)
- Phone Encryption (Protect your data)
- Secure VPN tunnel when not at home (Protect from snooping)
- Lookout, Mcafee, Bitedefender etc.
- Get the latest updates
- Assume that my text can be seen by everyone
- Assume that all my calls are listened to by a third party

Let's face it people are lazy. They would rather be helpless and completely open to the world just because using a complex password means they have to make an effort to think. I understand your lazy.

But what does your phone mean to you? Let's review a few things shall we? It contains a slew of personal information about you, your life, people in your life, banking information, ebay, facebook, paypal etc. This means if you loose your phone you'll be SOL. The real problem is that whoever finds your phone can get access to your information very easily. Software, hardware and methods have been devised to give people access with very little effort.

Here's what we can do to make it harder for whomever that gets your phone in their hands:

How-to construct a password if your not interested in having one generated for you. In the event you want to use a generate password try this http://strongpasswordgenerator.com/. I'll be using ModXStream-Pro for my choice of a password substitution:


Now in this example I chose to use 16 characters this increase the entropy length making it harder to brute force cracking if it really came down to that part. The fun part of this is that over time you'll be able to enter it even faster.

Since most of your aren't developers how about you go ahead and disable USB Debugging. You don't need this option on. It would be a venue for would thieves to gain access to your phone using their computer systems.

I'm almost tempted to say to disable unknown sources as well because unless your installing applications which aren't from the Play Store that won't be needed as well.

Your Android device is capable of encrypting it's data. This would mean that if you were to turn your phone on you'd be prompted for a password before the phone is started. Which would then increase the effectiveness in that respect.

If you access the settings from the App Drawer and then go to phone storage:

What about using a security suite? That's actually UP TO YOU. At this present time, there's been detailed studies and by that I mean real ones. Not the ones you see from vendors stating that malware is up by 60% etc. At this present time there's less the 0.1% infections in North America as a whole. Google is getting better at filtering unwanted application from the Play Store. These numbers listed here can be found on various sources. Don't believe everything you see or believe everything you hear. NOT EVEN FROM ME! We are all human and we can make mistakes and hell we've been known to be wrong from time to time.

I'm just an average guy sitting in his living room reading, searching and getting information that make sense.

I won't recommend any security suite in particular because they all have different option, they all behave differently and there's a lot. I can tell you that: I'm rooted, I install from untrusted sources and trusted sources. I hack and slash my device and I have yet to be infected with anything. BUT that said, I'm applying common sense.

I've also installed a VPN service (Virtual Private Network) the idea is being able to surf the internet, be online, without being snooped on. All my data traffic is routed through the VPN service I'm using. http://www.privateinternetaccess.com/ provides a full year of service for 40$ and this can be used on multiple platforms. It's one of the best I found on the market that actually tries to protect every member anonymity online.

I can't say this enough, keep your devices updated, programs updated. It may help in preventing other problems as well. Carriers should do their part as well to keep you correctly updated but they usual fall short.

But there's really no way of knowing if your being spied on for any reason it could be from anyone or anything. Assume that everything you do is public and available to anyone who wants to see it. That's my best advice for you.