The 5 Minute Android Security Check

Considering how often and in how many ways we use our smartphones these days, it makes sense to quickly check that your device is as secure as possible. Here are a few tips, many of them obvious but a good reminder.

  • Use a secure lock screen: A pattern is good, a PIN number is even better. If your device has a fingerprint sensor, enable it. There may also be an option to configure a message on the lock screen, mine asks the finder to send me an email.
  • Encrypt your SD Card: If you have sensitive information such as spreadsheets or Word docs on an external card, many devices can add an extra level of security. Encryption ties your SD card to your device, making the card useless anywhere else except on your phone. Assuming your phone is locked with a lock screen, you have now protected your entire device from data theft. The encryption option is usually found in your security settings.
  • Disable Developer Mode: Keeping Developer Mode on exposes vulnerabilities that would otherwise not be there. Also, don’t use “Install Unknown Apps”. If you have enabled this option (possibly to sideload an app), turn it off as soon as you are done with it for security reasons.
  • Don’t sideload apps: If you’re downloading from sources other than the Play store, make sure the source is reputable. The Amazon app and APK Mirror are two widely used and trusted sources. In the same vein, don’t take the obvious security risks inherent in pirating apps.
  • Make sure that “Google Find My Device” is enabled: You can then use any device to call and locate your lost phone.

Feel free to contact me if you need help finding the settings for your particular device. For other phone and tablet services, please see my android page.

Any other tips you feel are worth sharing? Please leave a comment below!


I've been around computers for a while now, starting with my first machine in 1983. I made a career of it in corporate Calgary, before deciding to start my own business. specializes in web design, PC & android consulting, and HTPC installs.

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