Away from all the hubbub about which companies and phone manufacturers are on top of the game, there is an urgent need to question and look into the security of your Android device since your phone is one place where most of your very personal stuff is located and, therefore, the thought of this information in the hands of reprobate people is indeed worrying to say the least. It is, therefore, important to expound on the ways that we can ensure our devices and data are safe.
1. Secure Screen Lock
As much as locking the screen may seem like an uphill task for some people, this simple duty is very inportant as it keeps the wrong person from accessing your phone in case it gets stolen or lost. Moreover, features such as Android Smart Lock are there to lessen the task for you. Therefore, it's good to avoid living in the world of fantasy that nothing bad could happen anyway, or using excuses such as use of remote wiping. Get a password or PIN or any other secure means and lock that screen for your own good.
2. Be careful with apps
For some, the above statement can as well be interpreted as 'stick to Google Play store'. Ever since the advent of Android devices, there has always been an option of sideloading applications in them. It is indeed a great option but it is also an option to fret about when issues with security come on board. This is not to mean that all the apps here are bad but there is always a possibility of some form of malware lurking somewhere in the blues.
Well, let's explain this. Google allows anyone who is willing to register a developer account to upload apps on the store, which are then scanned to ensure there are no malicious codes in them. However, some form of malware is so sharply designed such that in between the time of uploading and its scanning, some forms of monkey tricks have already happened and the damage gets uploaded safely in the store. The bottom line is, if you are not sure of an app, do not download it. Period.
3. Is rooting needed?
As much as you may want to do anything with your phone because you're the rightful owner, it's always good to think again before you leap, with the point here not being about how carefully you do it, but what other malware hawks may be waiting to do the moment you press that red button. Allowing root access makes you vulnerable to malware especially during sideloading of an application. If there is no need really to root your phone, then stay safe, but if there is, stay quite alert especially when installing apps.
4. Keep the bootloader locked
Just like the rooting issue above, keep the bootloader locked too. A locked bootloader ensures that your phone is protected. If your phone happened to fall in the wrong hands and the bootloader is unlocked, it's sad to say that all your stuff will vanish into thin air since the person will root your device and bypass all your passwords and screen locks with no struggles. A locked bootloader keeps the attacker at bay since they can't boot up with any unsecure images.
5. Don't jump onto queer links
Never attempt to click onto links from people you hardly know, whether in email or social websites since this is one of their greatest tricks to bring miscreant apps, corrupted media files and even more weightier exploits like the Stagefright 2.0 malware.
As we sum this up, it's also good to ensure that your Android device is from a reputable manufacturer who is not only concerned of the income your device brings but also about the security of your device.