Android Specific Security


Access Passcode

A passcode on the start screen will prevent someone using your phone or accessing your pictures and data.

An Overview of Android Lock Screen Security Options

Android Device Manager

The Google Android Device Manager provides location information, remote locking, and remote wipe for a lost or stolen phone.

Never attempt to recover a stolen phone yourself; contact NUPD (617.373.2121) for assistance.

Google: How to turn on Android Device Manager

How to: Setup Android Device manager to lock and wipe your phone

Encrypt Sensitive Data, Passwords, and Files

Encryption is the only real way to prevent someone from looking at your data from a stolen or lost phone. First, remove any sensitive data on your phone that you do not need. Next, use encryption applications to fully secure the remaining data on the phone.

Instructions may vary depending on the version of Android running on the phone.

Article: How to encrypt your smartphone

Install Anti-Virus Software

Malware and Spyware are becoming more prevalent with the growing popularity of Android smartphones. These applications are designed to steal your data including usernames and passwords, steal your contacts for purposes of spamming, and disrupt your operating experience. The most effective way to prevent malware and spyware is to install anti-virus software on your phone.

List of anti-virus software for the Android

View Detailed test reports for comparisons of Android Anti-Virus applications from

Reduce Location Sharing

Many applications such as Facebook will ask or your current GPS location to update your profile wherever you travel. Criminals could use this data to determine when you are not at home and take that opportunity to steal your possessions. Your location updates could also be used by stalkers and other types of harassment.

Limit the number of applications has access to your current location and do not allow constant updates of your location to the internet.

Download Applications from Reputable Sources

Many free applications available to Android phones are actually forms of spyware designed to send data about your phone and browsing habits back to the applications author. For example, you may download a free game and in the background while you play, it is sending all of your contact and web browsing history back to the applications author. The author would then sell this information either to criminals or marketing firms.

Lifehacker Article: How Can I Tell If An Android App is Malware

Install Updates for Applications and the Android OS When Available

An update fixes a known vulnerability that criminals could use against your phone. Download and install updates when they become available. Periodically check for application updates through your phones application manager.

Conduct Regular Backups

Your data will be safe if your phone is stolen or destroyed.

Android: How to back up your Android phone

Related Information

Lifehacker Article: How to Secure Your Smartphone

Sophos: Love Your Phone

Venture Beat: Smartphone Security


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