11 Proven Tips to Improve the Privacy of Your Smartphone

The value of your data is difficult to quantify; but you can be sure that there are many companies, government agencies and, of course, thousands of criminals who will try to obtain them. Google has been built on data, and perhaps for this reason it is not a coincidence that it offers some of the best software services to get access to your data, analyze it and get you valuable information. How could you then improve privacy in Android?
11 Proven Tips to Improve the Privacy of Your Smartphone
It is not easy to opt out of the Google influence and keep using Android; So, if you're really worried about your privacy, consider switching to iOS or - more radical still - completely abandon your smartphone.

While you may have to accept that you are giving up some privacy to use Android, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and limit your data that is collected; data that - potentially - could be sold to third parties.

11 Smart Ways to Improve the Privacy of Your Smartphone

Secure the phone

How to improve the privacy of your phone
First, it is important to configure security to prevent people from taking your phone and having access to everything that is there. If you access Settings» Security and location» Lock screen on a Pixel phone, or Settings» Lock screen and security on a Samsung Galaxy, you can set a pattern, password, PIN or fingerprint to lock and unlock your phone.

A strong alphanumeric password could be your best bet for security, but it is not very convenient. For most of us, a fingerprint offers the perfect balance between security and comfort, but if you're worried that security forces force you to unlock your phone, you'll want to avoid using your fingerprint.

Hide notifications

Hide Notifications
If you do not like people to look over your shoulder while reading, or to see parts of the messages in the notifications that appear on the lock screen, or simply to look at your private photos, you can act to protect them.

Start by looking in Settings» Notifications and adjust which apps can send you notifications and where they should appear. Specifically, you'll want to turn off Notifications on the lock screen, or choose to hide confidential content

Sometimes you want to give your phone to a friend to show them a picture, but you do not want them to browse your gallery. Take a look at how to hide your photos or videos on Android to keep them safe from prying eyes.

Restrict the permissions of the Apps

Restrict the permissions of the Apps
Many applications ask for permissions that they do not really need, unless they are collecting data to sell them. Go to Settings» Applications and touch the settings icon or the three vertical points on the top right, and then on the permissions of the application. If they seem suspicious to you, revoke the permit and investigate.

Applications that request a large number of permissions that are not related to their main functionality must be uninstalled. If in doubt, research online, searching on Google the name of the application along with "privacy" or "security" and see if anyone else has expressed their concerns.

Encrypt your data

The vast majority of Android phones are encrypted by default, but you can always verify it by going to Settings» Security, Settings» Security and location, or Settings» Lock screen and security to look for an encryption option. If you use a MicroSD card, then there might be an option to encrypt it as well.

Use Find My Device, or not

How to improve the privacy of your phone
Google's Find My Device service tracks the location of your Android phone or tablet and allows you to activate a remote data deletion. This could be a good way to protect your data if your phone is stolen. When activated, you can type "search my device" in Google, if you have logged in to your account. It will show you its location on Google Maps.

Of course, you may not want Google to track your movements, in which case you can turn it off. It should be activated by default, but you can check it through Settings» Google» Security» Find my device.

Run the Google security check

It's a good idea to take a look at the Google Security Review; and see if you already have an old device associated with your account. If so, remove it immediately. Google will also highlight strange logins and applications with access to your data.

Turn off Google activity tracking

By default, Google tracks the use of your services and keeps track of all kinds of things, from your movement in Google Maps to every video you watch on YouTube. It is possible to disable all this by going to the activity controls page of your Google account. Keep in mind that this could harm some services.

Turn off Automatic Backups

How to improve the privacy of your phone
It may be a good idea to have automatic backups, especially if you want to make sure you do not lose valuable files; but you may not want to share data with Google and other companies. Disabling Google backups is easy, just go to Settings» Google» Backup and uncheck Backup in Google Drive or adjust your backup settings.

Many phone manufacturers also offer backup services that you may have configured the first time you used your phone. With a Samsung, for example, you must search in Settings» Cloud and accounts» Samsung Cloud.

If you decide to disable automatic backups, be sure to back up your photos and other valuable files manually, as you run the risk of losing them.

Deactivate AD Tracking

If you consider that targeted ads are unbearable or you simply do not like the idea of ​​Google creating an ad profile based on your online activity, go to Settings» Google» Ads and turn off Cancel Customize ads.

Use a VPN

How to improve the privacy of your phone
There are many possibilities that when you connect to the Internet through mobile data, your provider collects data from each website you visit. When you connect through your home Wi-Fi, you can bet that your ISP is doing the same. Many Android devices are also configured to connect to Google's DNS servers; so Google can see all the websites you request.

You can hide your IP address and encrypt your web browsing using a VPN service. Check out our selection of the best VPN services for Android to have some ideas.

Change the browser and the search engine

Even if you disable tracking and use a VPN, Google can continue your activity in Chrome; or when you use it to do a search If you change to something like Firefox as your default browser; and you also use a search engine that does not track your users, such as DuckDuckGo, so you can avoid collecting and selling your browsing data.

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