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Android Security Settings


Android Options

​Below are a few recommended security tips you should follow to protect your information and data while using your Apple products.

1. Password 
2. Back It Up
3. Keep Updated
4. Encryption
5. Wi-Fi Settings
6. Before Downloading

7. Erase Data
8. Find My Phone 
9. Browser Settings 
10. Google Play
11. Extra 

screen lock

Password Protection

Set Up Sim Card Lock

System > Security > Sim and Lock Settings 
 Now you must enter a PIN number to unlock your SIM card each
time your phone is switched on. 

Setup Up Screen Lock

System > Security > Screen Lock

Once inside the Security Lock Menu you have the option of changing the Lock Type (PIN, Passcode, Pattern), changing the Lock Code, and changing the Security Lock Time (how long you phone will remain idle before locking itself.)

Making a swipe pattern is as simple as connecting the dots, but it is only secure as you make it. You do not want to chose an obvious shape, just as you would not chose to use your birthday as a passcode. Try to come up with a complex pattern that you will be able to remember. Once you've set your password you will be able to return to the home screen to unlock your Android Smartphone.

Set Up Security Lock Timer

System > Security > Security Lock Timer
This will automatically lock your phone after a specified time. 

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android backup

Back Up

The First Copy

I recommend making the first backup of your Android data be a copy of the SD card you keep on your computer. I'll list the basic steps here, but note that, with Android devices, there may be slight variations in the exact wording or steps.

1. Connect your Android device to your computer (Windows or Mac should both work) via the USB cable.
2. On your Android, pull down the main menu (swipe down from the top of the screen) and select "USB connection."
3. On the next page, choose USB Mass Storage and hit OK.
4. You'll see a new drive or "Removable Disk" appear on your computer for the SD card. Open it up, and copy all the files inside to a new location on your computer. I would put the date right into the name of the folder—something like "130815_ANDROID-SD-CARD-BACKUP"—so you can very easily identify it and when it was created.

This first backup copy is all well and good, and you'll be thankful you have it if anything goes wrong, but it's not likely to be updated too often. So for your second backup, I recommend choosing a method that will update more frequently to ensure you have all the most recent photos, texts, settings, and everything else stored on your Android.

The Second Copy

You can back up data connected to one or more of your Google Accounts using Android Backup Service. If you need to replace your device or erase its data, you can restore your data for any accounts that were previously backed up.

If you're using a tablet with multiple users, only the tablet's owner can see the backup & reset options.

To back up your data, follow these steps:

  1. Open your device's Settings menu.
  2. Under "Personal," touch Backup & reset.
  3. Check the box next to "Back up my data." 

If you don't already have a backup account on your device, you can touch Backup account to add one.

Additional Backups

Option 2. Back Up Piece-by-Piece (mostly free)

If you're interested in the DIY solutions, you'll want to back up various data stored on your Android piece-by-piece. Here's how I would break it down:

I. Apps, Contacts, Email, Calendar, and Settings (using Google as the backup source)

1. Go to Settings > P­rivacy.
2. Tick two boxes: Back up my settings and Automatic restore.
3. Go to Settings > Account & sync.
4. Select Google.
5. Tick the boxes: Sync Contacts, Sync Gmail, Sync Calendar.

A. Photos using Google+ Instant Upload for Android 2.2. and later

1. Install the Google+ app.
2. Log in with your Google account. When prompted, enable Instant Upload. If you already have the Google+ app installed, enable Instant Upload through the Settings menu.
3. Return to your Android's home screen. Now go to Settings > Accounts & sync. Select the account you want and tick the box for Sync instant upload. Now when you take photos, they will be uploaded automatically to your Google+ account to a private folder called

B. Photos using manual back up to a computer

1. Plug your Android device into your computer using the USB cord.
2. Put your Android into disc drive mode, and open the drive. The phone will appear as a connected device on your computer.
3. Open the device, and look for the folder called DCIM. That folder contains your photos and videos.
4. Select the files, and drag them to copy them to your computer.

C. Photos using a third-party file-syncing app and service

1. Download a third-party app that lets you upload photos to a hosting service. Options might include Dropbox and SugarSync.
2. In the app settings, turn on the Instant Upload feature (both Dropbox and SugarSync have one), which ensures that photos you snap are automatically uploaded to your Dropbox or SugarSync account.

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Software Update

1. Open the Settings menu on your device. 
2. Scroll down to "About phone". This is usually located at the bottom of your Settings menu.
     Note: the wording and labels for these steps will vary slightly from phone to phone.

3. Tap the "System updates" option. This is typically located at the top of the "About phone" menu.
4. Tap "Check for system updates".
Your phone will then scan to see if there are updates available. If they are, you will be prompted to download and install. If not, you will receive a message informing you that your software is up to date

  • It is recommended that you connect your phone to a wireless network when updating, as update files can be quite large and put a big dent in your mobile data.
  • Just because a new version of Android is out doesn't mean it will be available for your phone. It is up to the manufacturer and the carrier to make the update available for your device, and there is a good chance that the update will never be available, especially if your device is older.

Apps Update

You can update apps or allow apps to be updated automatically on your Android device.

1. Open the Google Play Store app.
2. Touch the Play Store icon > My Apps to view your downloaded apps. Apps with available updates are labeled "Update."
3. Select individual apps to update or touch Update all to download all available updates.

Tip: In some cases, you may need to restart your device to update an app.

Automatically update apps

1. Open the Google Play Store app.
2. Touch the Play Store icon > My Apps to view your downloaded apps. Apps with available updates are labeled "Update."
3. Select the app you want to update.
4. Touch Menu > Check the box next to "Auto-update" (depending on your device, your Menu icon may look different).

         When the Auto-update box is selected, the app will update automatically
         when updates are available.
To turn off automatic updates and manually approve updates, uncheck the box next to "Auto-update".

Automatically update apps using Wi-Fi only (not using 3G/4G)

If you have a mobile data (3G/4G) plan, you can choose to automatically update apps over Wi-Fi only. Updating apps on Wi-Fi can help lower your mobile data usage on your device.

1. Open the Google Play Store app.
2. Touch the Play Store icon > Settings.
3. Under "General," select Auto-update apps.
4. Select Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only.

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If your device uses Android version 4.0 or newer, you should turn on device encryption.

Settings > Lock Screen and Security > Other Security Settings > Encrypt Device

Before you can utilize device encryption, you will be required to set a screen lock password. 


Enable Full Disk Encryption

Settings > Security > Enable Full Disk Encryption

This will prevent even USB Debugging from bypassing the lock screen. 

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Wi-Fi Settings

Switch off Wireless and GPS location and mobile data

Settings > Privacy and Safety

NOTE: Only turn on location settings as you need them. It is important not have these services running by default in the background as it reduces the risk of location tracking, saves battery power and reduces unwanted data streams initiated by applications running in the background or remotely by your mobile carrier.

Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth by default. Ensure that Tethering and Portable HotSpots, under Connections are switched off when not in use. 

If your device supports Near Field Communications (NFC), this will be switched on by default, and must be switched off manually. 

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Erase Data

Erase your device's data

If you want to erase all your personal data from your device, follow these steps:

1. Open your device's Settings menu.
2. Under "Personal," touch Backup & reset.
3. Touch Factory data reset.

All of your data is erased from your device, including your Google Account, any other accounts, your system and app settings, and any downloaded applications.

After resetting your device, you'll need to re-enter the same information requested when you first set it up. If you've been backing up your data to a Google Account, an option during the setup process allows you to restore it.



Find My Phone

Access Android Device manager Settings from the Device Manager app

1. Download and install the Android Device Manager app from the Google Play store on your device.
2. Open the Device Manager app on your device.
            The first time you use the Android Device Manager app, you will need to agree to let Google
            use your location data to locate your devices.

3. Sign in to your Google Account.
4. Touch Setup Lock & Erase.
5. Adjust the Android Device Manager options as described above.

If you have more than one device, you also have the option to rename your devices in Android Device Manager by following these steps:

1. Touch the arrow next to the device name and select the device you want to change.
2. Touch Menu > Rename device.
3.Enter a new name and touch Rename.

Locate your device
If you’ve lost a device, you can use Android Device Manager on the web or the Device Manager app to see the device's approximate location on a map and when it was last used.

Access Android Device manager Settings from the web

1. Sign in to your Google Account on
2. Select Setup Lock & Erase
3. Click Send to send a notification to each of the mobile devices that are linked to your Google Account. The notification asks you to turn on Android Device Manager.
4. On your device, open the notification by swiping down from the top of the screen to open the notification tray. Touch the notification for “Android Device Manager.”
5. Adjust the Android Device Manager options as described above.

If you have more than one device, you also have the option to rename your devices in Android Device Manager by following these steps:

1. Click the arrow next to the device name and select the device you want to change.
2. Click the Edit icon.
3. Enter a new name and click Change.

Locate your device using Device Manager App

1. Download and install the Android Device Manager app from the Google Play store on your device.
2. Open the Device Manager app on your device.
3. Sign in to your Google Account.
4. If you have more than one device, change the device displayed:

On your phone: Swipe along the bottom of the screen to see your devices.
On your tablet: Touch the arrow next to the device to select a device.

5. Device Manager will show you the approximate location of the device selected. 

android browser firefox4

Browser Settings

Users have the option of using either Mozilla FireFox or Google Chrome  as a web browser. The various options for both browsers and the steps on how to change the settings are provided below.

Mozilla FireFox

Clear the current browser that opens links

1. Open the Settings application and tap on Apps or Applications
2. Tap on the All tab.
3. Tap on the current browser that opens links. This is usually the default browser which is called "Browser" or "Internet".
4. Tap on Clear defaults to prevent this browser from opening links by default. If "Clear defaults" is greyed out, then either you have not installed another browser or you have installed another browser like Opera and it is set to be the default browser. If you have installed another browser, go back to the previous step and repeat with the default browser.

Set Firefox to be the default browser for opening links

1. Open a link in an Android application like the Mail application.
2. Tap on Firefox and then tap on Always.

Clear Private Data on Firefox

1. Tap the Menu button and select Settings (you may need to tap More first) .
2. Tap Privacy and choose Clear private data.
3. Select the items you want to clear and then tap Clear data

Phishing and Malware Protection

These features are turned on by default so, unless your security settings have been changed, you are likely already using them. Phishing and Malware Protection options can be found on the Security panel:

Click the menu button [New Fx Menu] and choose Options

and click on Security.

You can test to see if Phishing Protection is active by trying to visit our phishing test site. Likewise, you can try to visit our malware test site to confirm that Firefox is blocking Attack Sites as well. With Phishing and Malware Protection turned on, both sites should be blocked from loading.

Do Not Track

When you turn on the Do Not Track feature, Firefox tells every website you visit (as well as their advertisers and other content providers) that you don't want your browsing behavior tracked. Honoring this setting is voluntary — individual websites are not required to respect it. Websites that do honor this setting should automatically stop tracking your behavior without any further action from you.

Turning on Do Not Track will not affect your ability to log in to websites nor cause Firefox to forget your private information — such as the contents of shopping carts, location information or login information.

Turn on Do-not-track feature

The Do-not-track feature is turned off by default. To turn it on:

1. Tap the Menu button, then Settings (you may need to tap More first) .
2.Next tap Privacy, then Tracking and choose Tell sites that I do not want to be tracked.

Private Browsing

There are two ways to open a new Private tab.

1. Open a new, blank Private tab
2. Tap the Firefox Menu button, then tap New Private Tab.

android browser chrome7

Google Chrome

Manage privacy settings

Several Google Chrome features use  information, such as the webpages you're visiting, to enhance and protect your experience on the web. Learn what information is being used and how.

To turn on or off a privacy feature, go to Chrome menu > Settings > (Advanced) Privacy and touch the feature you want to update.

Usage statistics and crash reports. Help us prioritize the features and improvements we should work on by permitting Google Chrome to send Google usage statistics and crash reports, which are files that are created when the browser unexpectedly closes.

You have the following options on how the reports are being sent:

Never. Don’t send any reports.
Only on Wi-Fi. Send in reports only when you’re on Wi-Fi.
Always. Send in reports anytime.

Do Not Track
You can include a "Do Not Track" request with your browsing traffic. However, the effect depends on whether a website responds to the request, and how the request is interpreted. For example, some websites may respond to this request by showing you ads that aren't based on other websites you've visited. Many websites will still collect and use your browsing data - for example to improve security, to provide content, services, ads and recommendations on their websites, and to generate reporting statistics.

Manage content settings

Adjust the type of content that websites can show and the information they can use to enhance your web experience.

Touch Chrome menu > Settings.
Touch (Advanced) Content settings.

Block pop-ups.
Prevent websites from showing additional windows automatically.

Accept cookies.
Websites can store small files on your device in order to save your preferences on websites or keep you signed in. Deselect to prevent webpages from storing cookies on your mobile device.

Enable JavaScript
Many web developers use JavaScript to make their websites more interactive. Sites may function correctly only if they can run JavaScript on your mobile device.

Google location settings.
Allow sites with location specific content to ask whether you want to share your location using your mobile device’s location information.

Website settings. If you want to clear location permissions or local data stored on your device for a specific site, touch this option.

Location settings

Many websites ask for your location in order to improve the user experience. For example, will ask for your location, so that when you search for “coffee shops”, it can suggest stores that are near you.

Location sharing settings

When a site wants to use your location information, Chrome will alert you by showing you a prompt.

1. Touch Allow to give the site permission to use your location information. You can change this permission anytime by going to Settings > Content Settings > Website Settings, touch on the site and unchecking “location access”.
2. Touch Google location settings to change your device location settings, then come back to the site to grant it access to your location information. You’ll see this prompt if you didn’t allow Google Apps to request access your location information when you first set up your device.

Clear browsing data

You have control over your browsing data, like browsing history, site data, and autofill data, and can clear it in a few easy steps.

1. Touch Chrome menu > Settings.
2. Touch (Advanced) Privacy.
3. Touch Clear browsing data



Device Administrator

Settings > Security > Device Administrator 

You’ll see a list of apps that get special system-level capabilities, which cannot be removed from your phone without first removing the Device Administrator access first. 

Lookout uses the Device Admin access for our find my phone features, like remotely locking and wiping your phone. This ensures that if anyone does steal your phone, you can block unwanted access to your sensitive data, and you can have the best chance of getting your phone back. 

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unknown sources

Block Unwanted App Downloads with "Unknown Sources" Setting

Settings > Security > Unknown Sources 

Uncheck the Allow installation of apps from unknown sources.

"Unknown Sources" are basically anything other than Google Play Store.

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Caller Identity

If you want to hid your caller ID 

Phone Dialer > Settings > Additional Settings > Caller ID > Hide Number

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Disable USB Debugging

Settings > USB Debugging 

When enavled, that data on mobile devices can be accessed without first passing a lock screen challenge unlcess Full Disk Encrytpion  is also enabled. 

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