Even though Android 11 is already out, Android 10 continues to be incredibly popular. As of this writing, 33% of Android phones use the OS. There’s a lot to love about it too.
Android 10 finally launched a system-wide dark mode. It also includes enhanced navigation and user interface. But the best enhancement over previous iterations come in the form of security and privacy improvements.
Here are a few things you should know about privacy for your Android device.
Your privacy is essential. Our phones contain so much valuable data that we don’t want to fall into the wrong hands. It doesn’t matter whether it’s hackers, advertisers, or other threats; you deserve privacy.
Permission manager is a whole new privacy feature for Android 10. Here Google dives the different permission categories along with apps that have certain access. For instance, there is a section of apps that have requested location access.
Under Privacy, select Location to see the apps that have access as well as turn them off and on.
This is a big feature and will show you some of the potentially dangerous app permissions you may have enabled and what you can do about it.
The customizable lock screen is one of Android’s most beloved features. But it can also be a risk if it provides too much information without requiring your PIN code/biometric.
Under Privacy, select Lock Screen. Again, you’ll be able to customize things, lock notifications, what information they show, and other important settings to help ensure your Privacy.
We’ve all seen ads that are way too specific. Now you can opt-out of personalized ads to prevent this from happening under the Ads tab in Privacy.
Do note this will not completely erase ads. It just means that Google won’t use your personal interests and activities for personalized ad campaigns.
While you’re at it, make sure you also change your Chrome settings to improve your privacy there.
Google alone isn’t the only tech company guilty of this. Apple, Amazon, and most apps all will send information about your device usage under the guise of “help us improve the product by sending randomized information” or something like that.
In general, this data isn’t too personal. But there’s no reason to let them collect it anyway. Don’t feel guilty. We are talking about a company worth tens of billions of dollars!
In Privacy, under Usage & Diagnostic, disable Google’s ability to automatically transmit diagnostic data about your Android.
The largest threat to your privacy isn’t from Google. It’s all the website you visit and the hackers, advertisers, and other snoops who want to get their hands on your data. That’s why you need a VPN.
What is a VPN? A VPN or virtual private network hides your IP addresses while encrypting your internet connection. The result is an internet experience that is immensely safer and more private. Find more information here: https://nordvpn.com/what-is-a-vpn/
While Android has had the feature to include built-in VPN tools since Android 4.0, it’s now gotten even easier to set up.
After you select a VPN service provider, you can set up easily in your network settings.
Scoped Storage is a new feature to Android 10 that will become default across all Android operating systems over the next few years.
With it, apps can allow access files in your storage that they created themselves—typically in an app-specific directory and only audio, image, or video files that you’ve granted permission. If they want access to anything else, they’ll need your permission.
This is a game-changer because it means apps can rifle through messages or contact data without you knowing about it.
Whenever possible, see if this option is available for your device.
Like all mobile operating systems, Android 10’s day in the sun is likely coming to an end. But for users with older devices, they may stick with it until their next upgrade. Either way, stay safe and start integrating these essential privacy features into your daily device usage now.
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