Here are some of our favorite tips for securing your Android phone or tablet.
We also recommend checking out the Learning Android Phone and Tablet Security Lynda course for more ideas.
The #1 step you can take is to use a passcode (or swipe pattern, fingerprint, password). Yes, it's one extra step. But someone who picks up an unprotected phone not only can not only make calls and flip through your photos, but they can also plug it into a computer and download all your content. Plus, if they have access to your email and phone, chances are they could easily reset your bank passwords, among other things!
- How to set a passcode on an Android
- If you use an unlock pattern, make it invisible - it'll be harder for someone to see the pattern over your shoulder.
- Alternate lock screens from the Play store will not protect your phone's content if someone plugs it in by USB.
Notifications that appear on your lock screen could give valuable information to someone who picks up your phone, such as recent text messages or your current calendar event.
The latest Android versions let you easily control which notifications appear on your lock screen. In the Sound & notification settings on Lollipop and above, you can decide whether you'd like to show all, none, or only "non-sensitive" content on your lock screen. You can designate certain apps as "sensitive" in their settings. This article does a good job explaining lock screen notification settings.