How To Protect Your Android Smartphone From Theft?

With the growing importance of mobile phones in daily life and the arrival of the NFC chips that turn phones into wallets, data security has become a major issue. But how to protect your smartphone? We have selected few Android theft apps for your smartphone which will protect your phone against malware, intrusions, hackers or potential thieves.

Protect your android smartphone from theft

1. Extend Locking Scheme

Add strong password to protect your Android phone from theft
Android PIN and Password Screen Lock

The first thing to do in order to protect your Android smartphone, is to activate the screen lock with a code or pattern drawing. To setup this go into the “Settings” menu, then under “Personal” heading tap on “Security”. In there, tap on “Screen Lock” and then choose the type of scree lock: PIN or Password. The longer password you choose, it will be more complex to drill. This system is so powerful that even the FBI had failed to decrypt the device from a suspect. I personally prefer to use a password, but remember that if you cant remember that password to write it down somewhere safe.

2. Locate the Phone

If stolen, locating your smartphone is crucial. It is also necessary to think about it before it happens. In Google Play Store there are many applications that offer this service. Among the best known is app called Where’s my Droid. This app allows you to trace your phone via GPS. In addition to precise geographic coordinates, the app also locates your laptop on a map which you can see on the internet. WaveSecure is an interesting alternative. In addition to the location, the application will block the phone remotely which is a great theft app for Android.

3. Encrypt Your Data

If you have sensitive data on your phone, there are many software to encrypt your data and protect them with a password. We prefer DroidCrypt. This app can protect any type of file (photos, videos, documents, …) with an encryption key using the AES algorithm with 128-bit encryption. This technology is the same as that used by the U.S. Government.

4. Block Access to Applications

When someone is holding your phone, it may access all the apps you have downloaded. This can quickly become annoying when it comes to apps that use your banking credentials or Facebook login accounts. Some parents will also want to ensure that their children can not access all the software installed on their smartphone. Smart Lock Free Android app allows you to block access to any application with a password. Note that all apps protected by this means will not be visible to other users.

5. Scan Smartphone in Search of Malware and Viruses

Protect your android phone from theft by blocking apps installation from unknown sources
Disable Android apps installation from unknown sources

Price of success, more and more hackers publish malicious (or malware) to spy on you or retrieve your personal data. In almost all cases, these applications have not been uploaded to the Google Play official Store. You can start by preventing the installation of apps from unknown sources. For this, go to “Settings”, then tap on “Security”. Now scroll the options all the way down and if necessary uncheck the box next to “Unknown sources”.

There are many Android theft apps for this purpose but we suggest you to use Lookout Mobile Security that will scan the files on your phone to search for malware, spyware and trojans to block them. App has many more features and allows you to locate your particular phone and to backup and restore your contact list.

Another anti theft apps that will work great are anti-viruses. Anti-virus specialists who are developing security application for personal computers are not standing still and most of them have released a specific application: Norton Mobile Security, Avast, McAfee or Bitdefender.

6. Update Your Phone

Check for Android OS Updates
Check for Android OS Updates

As with all software, it is advisable to regularly update your phone. Each new version of Android fixes some bugs and security holes. To see if an update is available for your smartphone, you need to go to “Settings”, then tap on “About Phone”. From here tap “Software Updates”, check all the boxes and tap on “Update”. If updates are available you need to install them which may take few minutes for all to finish. Also remember that during Android OS update you phone may restart few times in order that new updates be applied. Every time you update your Android OS make sure to check if all installed apps are working correctly, especially android theft apps we mentioned above because some new versions of Android may cause that apps crash. If that happens make sure to check if you app provider also offer an update.

7. Be Careful when you are Connected to a Public WiFi

Android theft can be very often in a public place (a coffee shop, airport for example), be careful when you connect to WiFi. Hackers can use to connect to your camera and get some of your data. Therefore, avoid to view sensitive data such as bank accounts in this case. You can also consider disabling the Bluetooth on your phone, which can cause the same problems.

8. Backup Data

The most annoying, when one loses his phone, it is unable to recover data: SMS, contacts, documents, etc.. It may therefore be interesting to make regular backups. Two applications have caught our attention in this area. Titanium Backup which can also backup your apps settings to your phone as your accounts configured, your Virtual Office, your wallpapers, and even your records to some games. Alternatively use MyBackup Pro, which will also allow you to put aside your data and even store them online.

9. Monitor the Authorizations Requested by Applications

Scan your Android phone with Privacy Inspector app
Scan your Android phone with Privacy Blocker

Each application requires a certain number of permits to operate. For example, an application can access the SMS text messages and can send them your name. While most of the time these requests are legitimate, some developers take the opportunity to slip a few ladles permissions to recover some of your data. Thus, the majority of applications tested in 2010 by the Wall Street Journal passed on personal information without the knowledge of the user.

To protect yourself against possible abuses, Privacy Blocker analysis installed applications and reveals all your apps dirty secrets and then safely fixes them so you can still use your apps with an assurance of full protection. After scanning for potential violations, Privacy Blocker can actually fix the problems that are in the apps.

10. Detect Spyware on Your Smartphone

Any person who obtained access to your phone could install without you noticing spyware to track your calls, SMS or your geolocation. This can also be the case when you download APK outside the Play Store. AntiSpy Mobile detects precisely all software of this type on your phone, including the hidden ones, and lets you delete them.

There you go, those 10 tips should give you a lot of great choices and Android anti theft apps to choose from (or maybe use all of them). If you come up with something we didn’t mentioned above, you are most welcome to leave your suggestion in comment section below.

about the author:

Boris Zegarac is the Founder and Chief Editor of DeviceMondo. He is also web designer/developer and professional blogger. On his free time he likes to play PC games and own noobs. If you would like to reach him prove you are smart enough and assemble this email (nycboris at yahoo dot com).