Android, 5 checks you need to do on your smartphone to protect your privacy

There are 5 settings you need to check on your Android smartphone to keep your privacy safe: here are them

Every day we entrust our Android smartphone with our information and data. Phone calls, messages, emails, chats, photos and even bank details when we shop directly in apps. To protect our privacy, there are five checks you should always perform on your smartphone.

A first tip, is to keep an eye on your installed apps and delete the ones you don't use, to free up memory and especially check for potential malware. Periodically, it's a good idea to also check app permissions, to make sure there's no shared data we want to keep to ourselves. It's also good to perform updates, which often fix bugs that put privacy at risk, and schedule antivirus and malware scanning to hunt for intrusions we want to avoid. Here are the 5 checks you should perform consistently on your Android devices.

Android, check your apps

There are three good reasons to check your app list and delete the ones you don't use. The first is definitely to free up memory, so you can keep your smartphone's performance at its peak. Second, it's to delete apps you don't use that open in the background and consume battery life. Finally, keeping an eye on your apps helps protect you from malware that could spy on your smartphone and put it at risk of virus attacks.

To check your apps, go to Settings, then Apps, and by opening the list you can check the ones you use the most, make sure there are no apps you haven't downloaded that are potentially harmful, and delete the ones you don't use, or deactivate them if they're pre-installed and can't be deleted from the phone.

Android, check permissions

Another task you should perform periodically is to check the permissions granted to the apps installed on your Android smartphone. To do this, you can go to Settings, then Apps and select App Permissions. This will bring up a screen that lets you see which apps can access your storage space, camera, microphone or GPS location. If you notice anything unusual among the authorized apps, you can revoke permissions and protect your privacy.

Android, check for updates

Updating your Android smartphone's operating system is important to fix bugs and fix vulnerabilities that could put your security at risk. Apps also release updates in the Google Play Store that you should install so you're always protected. To keep your smartphone up to date, you can choose to set up automatic updates through Wi-Fi, or manually update the apps you want.

To check for updates, go to the Google Play Store, open Settings, then Automatic App Update, and set the option you prefer. You'll be able to choose between automatically updating apps when you're connected to any network, either Wi-Fi or data, or only when you're connected to Wi-Fi. The third option disables automatic updates, but implies that you'll periodically have to open the app to check if there are any available and start updating manually.

Android, get virus scanning

Although the Google Play Store has its own built-in antivirus that protects you from malware and viruses, it's always a good idea to download and use one of the many free antivirus programs available for Android smartphones. From Avast to Avira, you can choose the antivirus you prefer and periodically scan your device, or choose a paid app, such as those from Kaspersky, Norton or Avira Premium, which allow you to schedule scans and run them periodically automatically.

Android, check for data leakage

Not only chats, messages, photos and videos, but also bank and credit card data are often saved on your Android smartphone. It can happen that apps, even those considered most secure, can be attacked by hackers and registered account data stolen. When this happens, app manufacturers usually warn their users, inviting them to change passwords and account login details. Always check that these messages come from official channels, to avoid running into phishing scams that steal your login details. The advice to remedy the problem, could also be to periodically change your passwords and always be careful not to save them if not necessary.