How to do a security check on Android

Do you want to learn how to do a security check on Android phones? Read this article to the end. The smartphone, nowadays, is a huge extension of people’s lives, containing information, contacts, money and even documents that previously only existed physically. At the same time that this facilitated many things in the daily lives of the population, it also raised new data security problems, especially digital ones — something that happens both on Android and iOS systems.

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In the Android system, specifically, because it is more open to developers, there are several types of problems that can happen more frequently than in Apple ‘s rival . With this in mind, it is important that users always perform a security check on their devices — an action that involves a survey of possible information that is being stored on the device and the applications that can access it.

The ComputerWorld website has a very comprehensive list, which we share below, adapted to the reality of Android users in US and South America. Check out:

Check all apps and services connected to your Google account

Check all apps and services connected to your Google account
In the Google account privacy settings, you can see which apps have specific permissions in it. (Image: Screenshot/Benedict/Phonefic Technologies

The longer someone uses the same Android account, migrating it from device to device, the more permissions for different applications and services accumulate — this includes programs that often don’t even exist anymore.

It’s interesting then, for security, to enter the Google account settings to see which accounts have permissions, and remove access from any that are no longer used. This can be checked from this link.

See the permissions apps have on Android

See the permissions apps have on Android
Checking which apps have permissions on Android is important for maintaining good virtual security. (Image: Screenshot/Benedict/Phonefic Technologies)

In the same vein as the previous step, we also have the recommendation to check the permissions granted to various applications, which are normally requested on the first launch after installation.

In general, these options can be found in the Android settings, under the privacy tab. Finding any permissions that, on closer inspection, appear to be out of bounds, revoke them.

Also, if you are using Android 10 or higher and you want to change the way that apps that require GPS collect data about where you are, we recommend that you only use tracking when they are open.

Check if Play Protect is enabled

Google relies on its app store with the Play Protect system, which evaluates devices for malicious code. Although there are times that threats escape detection, as already reported here on Phonefic Technologies, it is still a great option to improve device security without the need to install third-party solutions.

Check passwords saved in Smart Lock

Another reliable way to do security check on Android system is to always check password saved in Smart Lock. Android has Smart Lock, an intelligence tool that, among many features, also saves passwords for various services accessed by the user on the device. It is therefore important to always check which credentials are registered, and also to change any that have been compromised recently — information reported by the tool.

If possible, use a password manager in addition to Smart Lock

While Smart Lock is an interesting tool, third-party password managers such as 1Password and LastPass have stronger security settings and more effective user experiences.

In addition, some of them, like LastPass itself, also provide some additional device-wide security settings, such as requiring passwords to open any app.

Finally, most of these solutions also identify when a credential may have been compromised, making it a great solution for controlling security.

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Enable two-step authentication

It is also important to check that frequently used online services have two-factor authentication (or even more) enabled. With them, if a password is compromised, potential attackers will have to deal with more layers of protection to try to gain access to account information.

Keep an eye on the information shared on the Lock Screen

Keep an eye on the information shared on the Lock Screen
Lock Screen Settings are also part of good security practices on Android. (Image: Screenshot/Benedict/Phonefic Technologies)

Finally, to improve the security of your Android device, it’s also important to think about how your lock screen might be showing information. From visible notifications to alert messages in case your phone is lost.

All of this can be checked in the lock screen settings, accessible from Android’s general options.