The news headlines can get quite scary sometimes. All the data leaks and breaches that are going on make you wonder if the same fate could befall your own Android smart device. Well, if you don’t take the measures necessary to protect it, such a grim scenario could very well turn into reality. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why you should start working on securing it today:

1. Malware

If you tend to install apps you’ve downloaded from outside of Google’s Play store, who’s to say they don’t contain any malicious code? Most frequently, Android users get infected with malware when they do this. Even if you stick to the official store, sometimes malware sneaks past the radar, so that doesn’t guarantee your security either.

If your Android smart device gets infected, there’s no telling what the malware could do. Some variants of it delete files, while others steal data and eavesdrop on your conversations. Unless this is something you’d like to see happening, installing antivirus software on your Android smart device is a necessity. Some antivirus software is completely free and gets the job done just fine. Don’t forget to make regular scans though!

2. Theft

If someone steals your smartphone, you’d better hope nothing of value was stored on it unencrypted and without backups. Otherwise, the culprits may get their hands on sensitive company data you’ve left there.

Encryption may sound scary if you aren’t particularly tech-savvy, but there’s no reason to let yourself get intimidated. You can do this by visiting your smartphone’s settings page. If for whatever reason you’d prefer a dedicated app instead, feel free to find one from the app store. With encryption, the data residing on your phone will be useless to any unauthorized individuals. They won’t be able to decipher it without knowing the right password.

As for the backups, it’s best to use a cloud backup service that automatically syncs the files on your phone with a cloud backup server. That way, you’ll be able to access them even in case your Android device gets misplaced or stolen.

3. Privacy

Did you know that without using a dedicated online security software for Android, someone could intercept the data that you send to the web? This is especially true if you’re accessing it through an unsecured public Wi-Fi network. Imagine what would happen if someone intercepted your login credentials.

The same goes for VOIP conversations. Unless you want someone to be eavesdropping on them, you’d better install a VPN that acts as an intermediary between the local client and the target server.

If you don’t like people tracking your online activities and serving you customized ads, VPN for Android is a great way to foil their efforts. Since your real IP will be hidden and constantly changing, they won’t be able to trace your actions back to you. As a result, you’ll have more online privacy.

4. Phishing

Phishing is another cybersecurity threat you need to take seriously if you want to protect your sensitive personal data. In essence, a phishing attempt is when someone is trying to get your login credentials through a fake login page that looks like the real thing. Imagine what would happen if someone could access your social media or banking accounts with stolen usernames and passwords.

The solution is to avoid clicking on any links sent to you through emails and direct messages. Instead, enter them into the browser manually (alternatively, you could also use a search engine, since it’s much less work). It’s true that typing an URL manually on an Android device is a bit less convenient than doing so on a desktop PC. However, it’s the only way to make sure that the login page you’ve landed on is legitimate and not fake.

5. Hackers

As time goes on, hackers are coming up with new ways to compromise our accounts and stick their noses where they don’t belong. Therefore, the very least you can do is to make sure that the passwords you use are long and contain numbers, special symbols, and capital letters.

Moreover, you should try your best to vary them as much as possible and avoid using the same password on every single website. One of the sites where you’re registered might get compromised, and its users’ login details might leak out in the open. If that happens, all the hackers have to do is try logging into some of the other websites where you’re registered and they’ll be granted immediate access.

Understandably, it’s hard to commit so many different passwords to memory. Luckily, there are plenty of professional password storage solutions out there for you to try. If you don’t trust them for whatever reason, you can manage them yourself or write them down on a good old-fashioned piece of paper.

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