6 Ways to Secure Data on Your Android Device Amid Russian Cyber ​​Attack Concerns

Android at Google I/O 2021

Locking your Android device can help protect your data from falling into the wrong hands.

James Martin / CNET

This story is part of The war in UkraineCNET’s coverage of events there and of the broader impacts on the world.

It’s been over a week since then Russia invaded UkraineAnd concerns about cyber security continue to grow. Even before the invasion, US officials blamed Russia For cyberattacks against some Ukrainian websites, including the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and two banks.

While the US Cyber ​​and Infrastructure Security Agency said that there are no specific or credible cyber threats against the US, the agency also said that potential cyber attacks are likely to target infrastructure. CISA still recommends that everyone be prepared in case this happens.

Securing your mobile device is a good place to start when building a line of cyber defense. Here are six steps Android users can take to protect their phone data.

Make sure your operating system is up to date

Update your operating system It can patch known vulnerabilities and fix known bugs in your operating system. Not updating your operating system to the latest version leaves you and your device vulnerable to flaws that could expose your data to malicious actors. Some people may put off updating their operating system so they don’t have to deal with early system errors, but waiting too long can harm your system. here What do you know about the latest Android operating system, Android 12.

Turn on two-factor authentication

Two-factor documentation, or 2FA, adds a second layer of security to your Android account in the event your password is stolen. With two-factor authentication (2FA), once you enter your password, a second message is sent to another device asking you to verify that you’re trying to log in. It does add more time to your login process, but the extra layer of security is well worth it. Here’s how to turn on two-factor authentication.

Use a password manager

If you are having trouble saving multiple passwords and coming up with unique passwords for each account, the Password manager I can help. These utilities can work in conjunction with two-factor authentication (2FA) and can securely store passwords and automatically fill in login pages. They can also protect you from phishing scams that direct you to enter your password on a fraudulent website. For more information, check out CNET’s reviews of password managers PetwardenAnd the LastPass And the 1 password.

Encrypt your Android device

Beginning in 2015, Google required manufacturers to make Android devices innovatively encryptable. Once your device is encrypted, all data stored on the device is locked behind a PIN, fingerprint, pattern, or password that the owner knows. Without this key, not even Google can unlock your device. Here you can find out How to encrypt your phone.

Remove your data from Google

Android is a Google product, so unencrypted device data can be stored on a Google server. You can check with Google to see what data you have in it, and you can ask Google to delete that data. The process can take time, but it’s well worth the effort – your data can’t be stolen if it’s not already in the system. Here is where you can find How to ask Google to delete your informationbut note that Google does not guarantee that it will complete the request.

When all else fails, delete your phone

If your phone is lost or stolen, you can erase your phone remotely. for us Android Settings Guide Has an overview in case you need to take that step. This gets rid of all the data from your phone so if you have anything you want to keep, you should get used to backing up your phone on a separate device.

For more information on securing your phone, check out this Eight apps to protect your phone’s privacyAnd the What information do digital security experts want to know And the How to prevent your phone from tracking you.


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