If you’re an iPhone user, you know that Apple’s built-in privacy tools for the iPhone are pretty good. Unfortunately, Android devices have these tools, too, but not nearly as good. What’s more, you don’t have very many choices for protecting your privacy. If you want to protect your privacy in Google’s Android world, you’re limited to receiving alerts from Google and then deciding what to do with the information they provide. That’s probably not the method you want to use, especially if you want to keep your privacy protected in the real world.
In a world of constant information-sharing, the average person has been conditioned to think that the more information about themselves that they provide to others, the better.
Here’s a guide to using a phone’s privacy-protection tools:
- Limit your lock screen
You may be wondering how to limit the lock screen notifications on your phone. Well, now you can use an app called Lockinfo. Lockinfo shows you all the notifications that would normally show up on your lock screen while you are using your phone. This will help you manage the notifications you receive while using your phone.
- Manage your Google Account
If you want to protect your privacy with your Google account, you have a few options. First off, you can just not use Google services. But if you do, you have to be very careful with what information you fill out and sync. You also have to be careful with what happens when you delete your account.
- Restrict app permissions
Android apps work on your phone because they’re permitted to. But what do they need permission to do? When you download a new app, you’re also permitting it to access all the areas of your phone—contacts, photos, text messages, and so on. This means that, at a minimum, most apps should request permission to modify the contacts and call log.
- Take control of Chrome
Google Chrome is all about privacy. Whether you’re browsing the web, sending emails, or using social media, you want to feel confident that the information you’re sending and receiving is private. The problem is, Chrome doesn’t let you choose which sites you want to be secure. When you willingly hand over your data to a service like Google, you need to be able to trust that your information will not be compromised. This is where you need to be able to control how apps use your information. Google uses a concept called “privacy-preserving data apps” to control how apps can use your data.
- Stop Google services from using your data
Google has lately grown quite popular. It is used by almost every person on Earth, whether they realize it or not. Every Google service uses your data, and that data can be used to link data from other sources and create some very accurate information about you. There are multiple ways to stop Google from using your data—some permissions can be set, others can’t. Adding every app you ever download to your iOS device’s “allow” list is a good start, but you may want to go further. If you use Google services, like Gmail, Calendar, and Google Maps, you can use the Phone Settings app to give your information to Google while keeping your data private.
- Stop websites tracking you
Internet companies are always going to try to figure out new ways to collect and sell your data, but there are simple things you can do to protect your privacy. Understand how web and app companies set up their websites and apps to track you, get as much information as possible, and make sure they’re not breaking any laws. Don’t use “cookies,” which are small bits of code that track your online activities, and install the Chrome and Firefox browsers to block them. Also, be careful about what you post on social media, and limit the data you share with the apps that you use.
Your mobile phone’s built-in privacy-protection tools are designed to keep the contents of your message and call logs private by default. The list of things you can do to keep your private data private is pretty long. But it’s still easy to overlook some of your phone’s more basic privacy-protection measures. The iPhone and other phones—including Android devices—are designed to keep you safer by way of special privacy settings. But it’s not hard to find yourself locked out of your phone.