These Android features will help protect your digital privacy

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android and Confidentiality were not always natural companions. Google still makes most of its profits from its data-driven advertising business, which relies heavily on user information, much of which is sourced directly from android users. Google is currently giving its users more control over how and when the search giant accesses Android-related data by building a number of security and privacy features into the software.

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You already know many of the basics. Setting up a secure PIN – or better yet, an alphanumeric passcode – to lock your device is a great start. latest security patches. In addition, protecting your Google account with two-factor authentication can save you from even the most well-resourced hackers. What’s more, a number of Android’s built-in security features are enabled by default, such as verified boot, a feature that ensures a device’s firmware hasn’t been tampered with by malware, and Google Play ProtectAndroid’s built-in app scanner that protects against malicious apps such as spyware and stalker.

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Here’s what else you need to consider. (Some settings may vary depending on Android version.)

How to Protect Your Digital Privacy on Android

1. Remove unused applications.

It is unlikely that you use all the apps installed on your Android device. Removing unused apps can not only help free up space on your device, but also greatly increase the security of your device, as these apps, although not in use, can run in the background, collect and then share your personal data. .

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Luckily, getting rid of these so-called zombie apps is pretty easy. Just go to google play storetap Menuand choose My apps and games. From here, you can select the apps you want to get rid of and remove them from your device.

2. Check the permissions of your Android app.

Android lock screen permissions screenshot

You can allow, deny, or customize the permissions and access your apps have to your data. Image: TechCrunch

After you get rid of the apps you don’t use, you should also conduct a privacy audit of the ones you use on a regular basis to make sure they only have access to what they’re supposed to. To do this, go to Settingsafter Privacy & Securityand then Permission Manager. Here, you’ll see exactly what data each app can access—whether it’s location data or contacts—and you can restrict it. When it comes to location data, later versions of Android allow you to limit its accuracy so that you can still get nearby results without revealing your exact location.

3. Hide sensitive notifications on your lock screen

Screenshot of accessing the lock screen on Android

You can restrict the display of notifications and sensitive content on the lock screen. Image: TechCrunch

By default, Android is set to show all the content of your notifications on the lock screen. This means that if your device falls into the wrong hands, they can see sensitive information – from private messages to two-factor codes – without having to enter your PIN or device password.

Luckily, you can limit the amount of information shown on the lock screen. AT Settingsgo to Privacy & Security and press Notifications on the lock screen. Although by default it will be set to Show all sensitive contentis it possible to switch it to Show sensitive content only if it’s unlocked – which will filter your notifications and display only those deemed “non-private” on the lock screen – or Don’t show notifications at all.

4. Surf the web with more privacy

Google Chrome is the default browser on Android, and Google Safe Browsing Mode enabled by default. A feature called Enhanced Safe Browsing. significantly increases your defense against dangerous downloads and malicious websites, but at the expense of collecting additional data about your online activity, which may be inconvenient for some users, especially since Google already has enough of our data.

You can enable it with Chrome three-dot menu in the top right corner of the browser, then open Settings and go to Privacy & Security and Secure browsing. From here, you can turn on Advanced View.

Another option is to switch to a completely different browser. There are several privacy-focused browsers available on Google Play that provide more protection than the default Google offers from Brave to fire fox. You can also customize your search engines to DuckDuckGoa popular privacy-protected search engine that does not log search queries, and Mobile browser Torwhich anonymizes your browsing history and helps users bypass censorship.

Before you go, you should consider:

  • Make sure Find My Device is set up: how iOSAndroid comes with a built-in feature called Find My Device (formerly Android Device Manager) that allows you to track your device if it’s lost or stolen. It also comes with a “Lock and Erase” feature that prevents anyone from accessing your device’s data, allowing you to remotely lock your device and wipe its data.
  • Opting out of advertising: Ads track you all over the internet. If you are not being tracked by websites, it is the applications themselves. One of the best ways to prevent this kind of targeted tracking is to opt out of ad personalization, which uses data collected from your phone to show you ads it thinks you might be interested in. You can do this by going to Settingsthen go to Googleafter ads to turn it off. You must also click on Reset Advertising ID as this will disconnect your device from your ad profile.

Cyber ​​Security 101 - TechCrunch

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