Android Tablets and Phones

Security First!

1 in 10 people have lost their device or had it stolen

Simple Steps to Staying Safe

Replace paranoia with safe practices.

Since your device has so much power, it also comes with significant risks. In this lesson we'll learn about:

  1. The real dangers we we may face related to our device.

  2. How to use the lock screen to prevent others from using accessing it.

  3. Best practices to ensure we don't accidentally lock ourselves out.

Don't Let Them in the Door!

Your device stores access details for sensitive personal and financial information, acting like a key to retrieve your online data. If someone gains access to your device, they could see or use information from your email, social media, and even your banking services. It's important to be aware of the potential risks and take steps to protect yourself.

When using your device outside of your home, there's a greater possibility of losing it or even having it stolen. This can be a major security risk, exposing your personal and financial information to others. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself. By using some of the built-in features on your device, such as a lock screen or remote wipe feature, you can reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your device and its data.

Planning First

Your device has powerful locking and anti-theft features. This includes a lock screen that keeps your information private and blocks unauthorized access.

However, these features can also make it difficult for you to access your own device, and sometimes people are accidentally locked out! To avoid this frustrating and potentially expensive experience, here are some tips:

  • Make sure to write down your password or access code before you change it. And, If possible, do it together with someone you trust.

  • Keep a record of your access information, along with the date that you changed it, and store it in a safe place.

Following these tips will help you have a way to regain access if you forget your password or code.

Lock it Down!

It's important to secure your device so others cannot access it. Use the Security > Screen Lock settings on your device to set up secure access. The goal is to make it easy for you to access your device while making it difficult for others. If available, consider adding facial recognition, fingerprint ID, or smart lock options as additional layers of security.

If your face or fingerprint aren't recognized, you'll be prompted for your underlying PIN or pattern instead. Takingthe time to improve your access methods will save you time and frustration every time you use your device.

Time It Right

Although you can manually lock your device by pressing the Sleep/Wake button, it's essential to set it to lock automatically when not in use. This way, you don't need to remember to lock it manually.

Check the Display > Screen Timeout setting options to ensure this feature is on and that the timing is appropriate. The device stays unlocked while in use. However, when idle, it will automatically lock when it reaches the specified time.

It's important to set the time to be long enough for you to read a screen full of text to avoid it being too annoying, but not too long as it presents a greater security risk. That's because an unlocked phone is vulnerable until it auto-locks. Two minutes tends to be a practical balance between adequate security and usability.

Security Updates

One of the most important things you can do to keep your device secure is to keep it up to date. Regular security and performance updates are essential for the safety of your device.

Typically, updates for apps are installed automatically, but updates for the system happen less frequently and require your participation to initiate. Make sure to pay attention to any notifications or messages that prompt you to apply an update, and make sure to plug in your device and charge it before initiating any system update.

Remote Security

If you've lost your phone you can use the Find My Device App on another Android device to locate it. To use the app, sign in to your account from the initial screen. If you're using a friend's device, tap Sign in as guest and sign in with your Goolgle account ID and password to see your devices.

You can also use the website on any computer to find your device. If you think your device is stolen, you have the option to erase your device remotely.

Some devices have a built-in anti-theft feature, which can prevent others from erasing and reactivating your phone. It also stops people from turning off remote security features. But be aware that if you decide to erase or reset your phone, this feature may lock you out!