Android Mobile Security: Protect Your Device and Personal Data

nearSea Technologies

Discover the security risks associated with using an Android device and provide tips and tricks on how to improve the security and privacy of your Android phone in 2023.


Mobile security is an important concern in today's digital world. With the rise of smartphones, mobile devices are now an integral part of our lives. However, mobile security threats are also increasing. One of the most popular mobile operating systems is Android, and this article is going to help you understand the security risks that come with using an Android device. In this blog article, we will talk about the security and privacy of these devices and how users can protect themselves from mobile security threats.

Security and Privacy

Mobile devices have become an integral part of our daily lives, and they contain a lot of personal information that is vulnerable to malicious attacks. Android, as an open-source operating system that is available on a wide range of devices, has gained a questionable reputation for security and privacy. The lack of a central authority to oversee security updates and patches means that the lifespan of supported operating system updates varies. Larger brand names tend to have a longer lifespan of supported operating system updates compared to other models. The difficulty of maintaining compatibility with outdated operating systems gives rise to security risks that hackers can exploit.

Pros and Cons

Android, compared to iOS, provides a highly configurable system that gives you the possibility of fully control your privacy & security settings. However, it lacks of standardization between Android versions for the many different brands, which can lead to unusual security flaws.

How to improve my Android phone security & privacy? (Tips & Tricks for 2023)

1. App permissions

Although all app permissions are important, location, camera, and microphone access are the most critical. Android's newer versions allow a different type of permissions configuration, instead of the traditional "Allow" or "Refuse" options.

  • Open Settings → Go to Applications → Click on Permissions

2. Google Play Protect

All Android phones have Google Play Protect up and able to be executed, unless you deactivated it by mistake or with a reason.

  • Open the Play Store app → At the top right, tap the profile icon → Tap Play Protect Settings → Turn Scan apps with Play Protect on or off.

3. Safe Browsing

Since Chrome is the default Android browser, Safe Browsing is enabled by default, but it has a newer and more effective version of the system called Enhanced Safe Browsing (it’s up to you to opt into it).

  • Open Chrome → Tap More Settings → Tap Privacy and Security Safe Browsing → Select the level of "Safe Browsing" you want to use.

4. Lock Screen Info

Android typically shows notifications on your lock screen by default, which means the contents of emails or other messages you receive might be visible to anyone who looks at your device, even if they can't unlock it.

  • Open Settings → Tap Apps & notifications → Go to notifications → Under "Lock screen", tap Notifications on lock screen → Choose don't show notifications.

5. Lock Screen Controls (Android 12 or higher)

Android 12 or higher versions have a new feature called Lock Screen Controls that allows you to turn off controls in the lock screen environment. By default, Android makes all of the shortcuts in your phone's Quick Settings area available even when the device is locked. However, this accessibility can allow someone else to do something like change your phone's sound settings, disable its Wi-Fi connection, or even put it into aeroplane mode. It's also important to note that if you have Google Pay set up to pay by NFC, and your phone gets stolen without having it locked down in Lock Screen Controls, the person who stole it can make payments with your device. So, if you have a device with a recent Android version, you can take control and turn those controls off in the lock screen environment.

  • Go to settings → Go to “Notifications and control center” → Tap “Items show on lock screen after swiping down” → Disable “Control Center

6. Smart Lock

The smart lock feature is designed to counteract that tendency by making security a teensy bit less annoying. It can let you automatically keep your phone unlocked whenever you're in a trusted place — like your home and your office — or even when you're connected to a trusted Bluetooth device, like a smartwatch, some earbuds, or your car's audio system.

  • Go to Settings → Select the Security & Location option → Tap on Smart Lock or Screen Lock→ Enter your PIN, pattern, or password → A new screen with choices for Smart Lock options will appear

7. Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security process that is going to add an extra layer of protection to your Android device. It requires users to provide two forms of identification in order to access their device or specific apps. This ensures that only authorized users can access the device or app, even if the password or PIN has been compromised. Enabling 2FA on an Android device can significantly enhance its security and reduce the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches.

  • Tap on Settings → Go to the Google section → tap "Manage your Google Account," scroll and select the "Security" tab → Go to "2-Step Verification"

8. Lockdown mode (Android 9 or higher)

Once enabled, it gives you an easy way to temporarily lock down your phone from all biometric and Smart Lock security options, meaning that only a pattern, PIN, or password can get a person past your lock screen and into your device. If you don't see any results for that search on your phone, it means that this option is probably just automatically enabled and you shouldn't have to do anything to make it available. Either way, once the system's up and running, you should see a command labelled either "Lockdown" or "Lockdown mode" anytime you press and hold your phone's power button.

  • Go to Settings → Open Lock Screen → Tap on Secure Lock Settings and enter your primary passcode → Toggle on Show Lockdown option → To activate Lockdown Mode hold down the power button and tap on Lockdown Mode

9. App pinning

App pinning makes it possible for you to lock a single app or process of your phone and then require a password or fingerprint authentication before anything else can be accessed. This feature can be important for those moments when you give your phone to someone but you don't want them to browse your device, just that app.

  • Go to Settings → Tap Security or Security & location Advanced → Click on App pinning and turn on

10. Guest mode

Android has an incredible system that lets you allow someone else to use all parts of your phone without having access to your personal information or being able to mess anything up.

  • Swipe down at the top of your screen to open your notifications → At the top right, tap on your avatar → Tap Add guest and you'll switch to Guest Mode

11. Find my device

If you have an Android device, you have the Find My Device feature, since it’s enabled by default. You can make sure by heading into the Security section of your Android settings and tapping the line labelled "Find My Device." Double-check that the toggle at the top of the screen is turned on.

12. Emergency contacts

Give people a chance to do the right thing by adding an emergency contact that can be accessed and dialled with a few quick taps from your phone's lock screen.

Go to the About Phone or the Safety & Emergency section → tap the line labelled either Emergency information or Emergency contacts.


In conclusion, mobile security is an important concern for anyone who uses a smartphone or tablet. With the increasing popularity of Android devices, it is important to understand the potential security risks that a user can face and how to protect your device and personal information. By following the best practices outlined earlier in this article, such as customising the app permissions and lock screen information, enabling smart lock and using two-factor authentication, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to a mobile security breach. Taking a proactive approach to mobile security is the best way to protect yourself and your digital life.