Students often have hectic schedules and an overwhelming amount of tasks to complete. So, it’s no wonder that worrying about the safety and security of highly vulnerable smartphones and tablets rarely number among their concerns. But the damage a breach of these devices causes far outweighs the inconvenience of staying mindful of their safety.

These tips will keep your Android phone and tablet safe and secure both on and off campus. Like any other important task, once you set up a safety routine, you’ll wonder why you never took such necessary precautions before.

Control Verbose Apps

Phone and tablet apps can be very talkative. Be especially careful with free apps—they can actually become very expensive in the long run. App developers make money from the personal information the apps mine from your contacts and connected activities.

Here is how to take control:

  • Use Application Manager to turn off or deactivate apps you don’t use regularly. Otherwise, they can run in the background without you realizing it.
  • Use an app such as Permission Friendly or Permission Manager to deny access to information you find suspicious.
  • Be aware of the permissions each app requests from you. Is there really a need for an app to turn on the microphone or the camera or view your email and text messages?

Restrict Financial Activity

Wi-Fi connections are easily hacked. Avoid logging into bank accounts and entering your personal information when connected to free, public Wi-Fi. If you must connect, use your data plan or a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

You can get safe and reliable VPN apps from the Google Play Store. Some titles to consider are:

Use Security Software

Mobile carriers do not lock down your device. You need third-party apps to do that. They protect against viruses and malware.

These intrusions are increasingly compromising mobile devices. Some reputable apps available in the Google Play Store are:

Get a Wi-Fi security app from the Google Play Store. Some good choices are: WiFi Protector, WiFi Inspector and AVG Secure WiFi Assistant.

Lock Up

Android phones and tablets have default screen locks for a reason. Anyone can pick up the device and rummage through it otherwise. Yes, having to unlock your device each time you use it is a pain. But it’s a bigger pain if somebody steals the device with all of your personal information ready for the taking.

At the very least, turn on the Security Lock for your home screen when not in the privacy of your home. Choose from password, PIN or pattern. Key tip: do not be obvious. Make the pin or password something others can not easily guess.

Lock up your apps, too. You can find easy-to-use choices in the Google Play Store. Make sure to add a password for apps you want to keep extra private. Some reliable choices are: Perfect AppLock, CM Locker, AppLocker and App Locker Master.

Turn Off Bluetooth

Keep Bluetooth off when not using it to connect to vehicle or speakers. Hackers use Bluetooth connections as back doors into your phone or tablet. Leaving Bluetooth on all the time not only makes you an easy target, it also wears down your battery much faster.