Keep Data Safe on Android

Data Security: Tools

 By Steve Morgan
Keep Data Safe on Android
Android OS has various vendors and versions and runs on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. So users who use devices based on Android face particular security challenges.

Here we list some common concerns to keep you and your Android device safe from attackers. Some of these are pretty simple, and your Android supports them already. What you need to do is to enable them. Others are more complicated; they may require third parties' tools to enhance the security shield of your Android device.

1. Enable Security Features of Android
1.1 Update Software
Any software has flaws; some of them will cause a serious security risk. So updating Android OS, either small patches or new versions, is critical to keep your device running up-to-date Android.

You should update Android by either auto setting or manual checking. However, because of the Android ecosystem's diversity, separate vendors update their Android OS under different policies. Some have better services and quicker responses to new features and security patches. A list from best to worst of the leading vendors are as follows:
  • Google
  • LG
  • Motorola
  • Sony
  • OnePlus
  • Samsung
  • HTC
So, Google should be your first choice if you target Android devices because of the security update. Even for the same vendor, different devices and types may have different update policies. So you should check both vendor and model of your Android and maximize the priority of up-to-date Android to ensure to be in good shape against cybercrime.

1.2 Lock Smartphone
Lock your Android device is so simple. But, some people still don't do it. In fact, you're more likely to leak your private data, like credit-card accounts, by losing your device than attacking by any malware. So lock your smartphone is a critical security step to keep privacy safe.

What's the best way to lock your phone? Android offers lots of options:
  • PIN, but not set as 1-2-3-4, it's too easy to break
  • Fingerprints
  • Patterns
  • Voice-recognition
1.3 Only Use Apps from Google Play
Android OS itself is relatively safe, but the apps installed by yourself are another story. The main security risk on Android devices is from apps users downloaded, especially from unreliable third party application sources. To avoid any malware, you should only download apps from Google Play.

Android Google PlayGoogle does its best to make the Store safer than any other app sources. It scans all apps before listing them. We also read reports that bogus apps, including malicious code, make them into Google Play occasionally, but they're exceptions, not the rule.

Besides, if you tune on Google Play Protect, it can automatically scan your Android device for malware when you install programs. For maximum security, you may do as follows.

Settings > Security > Play Protect, then click Full scanning and Scan device for security threats.

Android Google Play ProtectNow that you know the apps from third parties may cause security issues, you need to keep an eye on updating them as long as their vendors have new security patches ready. Most Android software vendors do a good job of security updating, but it costs your time and effort to update them. So, If you're not using an app, get rid of it immediately. It will decrease the chances an attacker can exploit.

1.4 Use Device Encryption
When your smartphone is in others' hands, all your private data are visible to them, either a crook or an agent of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Android gives you an option to avoid such a disclosing. To encrypt your device, go to

Settings > Security > Encrypt Device, and follow the prompts.

Android Device EncryptionThen, data in your smartphone, like contacts, calendars, and notes, are safe unless you give the password to others.

1.5 Password Management
Password management is a new concept in Android OS. You may have some out-of-date ideas about passwords:
  • Use the same password for everything
  • Write down your passwords in a notebook
  • Memorize all your passwords in mind
Unfortunately, they are all not terribly practical. Android strongly suggests you use a password management program called 'password manager.'

Now Google comes with one built-in password manager. However, if your devices aren't limited to Google or Android, you can use other password management programs, such as LastPass, 1Password, and Dashlane.

1.6 Turn off Wi-Fi Connections
Wi-Fi is the primary channel by which malware passes your private data. Even if you set a firewall for both inbound and outbound connections, the Internet risk cannot be isolated completely. So, if you're not using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, turn them off. It will decrease the chances dramatically that cybercriminals attack your smartphone.

Bluetooth hackers are still alive and work similarly to Wi-Fi hackers. So, turn off Bluetooth too. If you don't use it, don't give them a chance.

Android Device Encryption
2. 2021 Android Security Software
Android devices span various vendors, distributors, and developers, so they have more complicated security challenges and requirements. For example, public Wi-Fi and third parties' apps sometimes cause security issues in Android devices. It's why more and more companies enter the Android security market. Here we list some of them to help you get extra protection for Android devices.

ProducerNameAreaFree
McAfee, LLC.
USA
Mcafee Total ProtectionAntivirus
Password
VPN Service
Internet Security
File Security
Parental Control
Detail
Mcafee Mobile SecurityInternet Security
Privacy Security
Antivirus
Detail
Mcafee Safe Connect VPNVPN Service
Detail
Mcafee Safe FamilyParental Control
Detail
Mcafee Identity Theft ProtectionPrivacy Security
Detail
NortonLifeLock Inc.
USA
Norton 360 AntiVirusAntivirus
Data Backup
Internet Security
Password
Parental Control
VPN Service
Detail
Norton Mobile SecurityInternet Security
VPN Service
Antivirus
Detail
Norton Secure VPNVPN Service
Detail
Norton Password ManagerPassword
Detail
Norton FamilyParental Control
Detail
BitDefender, LLC.
Romania
Bitdefender SecurityInternet Security
Password
VPN Service
File Security
Parental Control
Detail
Bitdefender Mobile SecurityInternet Security
Privacy Security
Detail
Bitdefender Premium VPNVPN Service
Detail
F-Secure Cyber Security Limited
UK
F-Secure SecurityInternet Security
Password
VPN Service
Parental Control
Detail
F-Secure Id ProtectionPassword
Privacy Security
Detail
Nord Inc.
Panama
NordVPNVPN Service
Password
Detail
NordPass Password ManagerPassword
Privacy Security
Detail
Webroot Inc.
USA
Webroot SecureAnywhereAntivirus
Internet Security
Password
Data Backup
Detail
Webroot WiFi SecurityVPN Service
Detail
Kaspersky Lab
Russia
Kaspersky Anti Virus & SecurityAntivirus
Internet Security
Password
Data Backup
Privacy Security
Parental Control
Detail
Kaspersky Safe KidsParental Control
Detail
TotalAV Software
UK
Total SecurityAntivirus
Internet Security
VPN Service
Detail
Avira Operations
Germany
Avira Antivirus ProAntivirus
Internet Security
VPN Service
Detail
K7 Computing Pvt Ltd.
India
K7 Antivirus & SecuirtyAntivirus
Internet Security
Parental Control
Detail
Avast Software
Czech
Avast Antivirus & SecurityAntivirus
Internet Security
Detail
Sophos Ltd.
UK
Sophos HomeAntivirus
Internet Security
Detail
Trend Micro Inc.
Japan
Trend SecurityInternet Security
Password
VPN Service
Parental Control
Detail
Aura
USA
Hotspot ShieldVPN Service
Password
Privacy Security
Detail
CyberGhost
Romania
CyberGhost VPNVPN Service
Detail
Express VPN International Ltd
UK
ExpressVPNVPN Service
Detail
Surfshark Ltd.
UK
Surfshark VPNVPN Service
Detail
Dashlane Inc.
USA
Dashlane Password ManagerPassword
Privacy Security
Detail
AgileBits, Inc.
Canada
1Password Password ManagerPassword
File Security
VPN Service
Detail
Keeper Security, Inc.
USA
Keeper Password ManagerPassword
File Security
Privacy Security
Detail
LogMeIn,Inc.
USA
LastPass Password ManagerPassword
File Security
Privacy Security
Detail
Bitwarden, Inc.
USA
Bitwarden Password ManagerPassword
File Security
Detail
Siber Systems, Inc.
USA
RoboForm Password ManagerPassword
File Security
Detail
Pervasive Group Inc.
USA
MMGuardia Parental ControlParental Control
Detail
Qustodio LLC.
Spain
Qustodio Family PremiumParental Control
Detail
Content Watch Holdings, Inc.
USA
Net Nanny Family PassParental Control
Detail
Mobicip LLC.
USA
Mobicip FamilyParental Control
Detail
Google LLC
USA
Google DriveData Backup
Detail
Microsoft Corporation
USA
Microsoft OneDriveData Backup
Detail
Apple Inc.
USA
Apple iCloud DriveData Backup
Detail
IDrive Inc.
USA
iDriveData Backup
Detail
Dropbox, Inc.
USA
Dropbox IndividualData Backup
Detail
Acronis International GmbH
Singapore Switzerland
Acronis True ImageData Backup
Detail
Western Digital Corporation
USA
My Cloud HomeData Backup
Detail
Aiseesoft Studio
China
FoneLab iPhone Data RecoveryFile Security
Detail


3. Free Android Security Software
3.1 Free Internet Security Suite for Android
As we mentioned, the apps you downloaded are the primary source of malicious code. If your apps are from Google Play, Google Play Protect does an excellent job protecting your smartphone.

Users cannot guarantee to download apps from Google Play alone, as well as Google Play Protect cannot dig out all malicious code at the first moment. So that employ third parties' Internet security suite is a good option if your smartphone is running lots of apps. The below free list has a good reputation at Android OS.

Sophos Home
(1)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMaciOSAndroid
Detail Info
FeatureFreePremiumDevice
AntivirusFull list
Safe webFull list
Web ProtectionFull list
Remote ControlFull list
Anti identity theftFull list
Realtime anti-phishingFull list
V3 Mobile Security
(2)
DEVICE:
 Android
Detail Info
FeatureFreeDevice
AntivirusAndroid
Safe webAndroid
Protect device from thievesAndroid
Privacy checkAndroid
Safe BankingAndroid
Email ProtectionAndroid
Generic exploit blockingAndroid
Avast Antivirus & Security
(3)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMaciOSAndroid
Detail Info
FeatureFree AntivirusPremlum SecurityPremlum SecurityDevice
AntivirusFull list
Scan Wi-FiFull list
Ransomware securityFull list
Secure ShoppingFull list
File ShredderFull list
Safe webFull list
Scan emailFull list
Firewall to internetFull list


3.2 Free VPN for Android
When you connect with Wi-Fi, you may not know who is the provider of the Wi-Fi service. In some cases, your smartphone runs under free Wi-Fi, such as a local coffee shop or public park. It's a huge security risk because the free Wi-Fi providers theoretically can get all the content you communicate through Wi-Fi. You can use free Wi-Fi, but you need extra security protection: it's VPN. Some third parties offer mobile VPN on Android.

Mcafee Safe Connect VPN
(1)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMaciOSAndroid
Detail Info
FeatureFreeMonthlyYearlyDeviceNote
Secure VPNFull list250M per month
Secure VPNFull list5 licenses
Unlimited dataFull list
Hotspot Shield
(2)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMaciOSAndroidChromeBookLinux
Detail Info
FeatureFreePremiumPremium FamilyDeviceNote
Secure VPNWindows Mac iOS Android ChromeUp to 2 Mbps,500 MB daily
Secure VPNFull listup to 1 Gbps,unlimited traffic
Streaming accessFull list
Virtual locationsFull list
Realtime anti-phishingFull list
Password managerFull listby 1Password
Monitor privacy breachFull list
Panda Free Antivirus
(3)
DEVICE:
 WindowsAndroid
Detail Info
FeatureFreeDeviceNote
AntivirusWindows Android
Secure VPNWindows Androidlimited 150MB/day
USB protectionWindows
Panda rescue kitWindows
Game modeWindows
LocationAndroid