Android’s privacy record isn’t exactly fantastic. However, Google has tried to change that perception, releasing more privacy-focused tools to help you protect your personal information with each new release. However, some are not enabled by default.
These default settings exist in part because Google needs access to such information in order to customize much of the material you view and to improve your overall experience.
Tips to make your Android phone as private as possible:
RESTRICTED APP PERMISSIONS:
Common ways to protect your Android phone from anyone who comes into contact with it are passwords and fingerprint IDs. However, you should start with the apps you use every day if you want to increase your level of privacy. Managing your app’s permissions to ensure they have access to exactly what they need is a technique for taking back control.
Open the Settings app, then select the Privacy tab.
Here you can see which apps are accessing all of your phone’s permissions, including known permissions like camera, microphone, and location. After that, you can select a specific app and change how it accesses those settings.
The options for many permissions are simply allow or disallow. However, you have more flexibility in choosing your camera, microphone and location. You have an option to “Always allow”, “Allow only while using the app” or “Deny” on Android 10. The “Always allow” option for the camera and microphone is completely removed in Android 11 and later while location services still have the choice to have.
These temporary permissions limit background usage and allow you to test programs with confidence. Additionally, in recent Android versions, you can toggle an option for location data to reduce its accuracy. You can do this to get results for areas near you without revealing your exact location. Additionally, you can configure apps to automatically lose their permissions after a specified period of inactivity.
UNINSTALL UNUSED APPS:
New programs can occasionally be installed, used for one-off activities, and then forgotten. Sometimes we just keep them handy in case we ever need them, but that’s rare. You probably won’t be using many of the installed apps on your phone if you’re navigating through the app drawer.
If so, you should think about getting rid of them. It will improve your privacy as some apps might collect and share your personal information while running in the background. Not to mention, your device will reclaim much-needed storage space.
PREVENT WEBSITES FROM TRACKING YOU:
You should make sure that third-party websites aren’t stealing your data, while also limiting how much of it Google has access to. Go to Chrome settings and select “Privacy and security” to get started.
“Clear browsing data” should be selected.
You can clear common items like cookies, cached images, and your search history for any time period between the last hour and all times.
However, you can also delete auto-filled form data, site settings, and saved passwords by going to the Advanced page.
You can also turn off page preloading (also found under “Privacy and security”). Google uses page preloading on websites you expect to visit next to speed up your browsing experience (although you may not). However, the increased access to your browsing information is a downside. To turn it off, select “Preload Pages”.
Just select “No preload”.
You can also turn off the “Access Payment Methods” option (also found under “Privacy & Security”), which allows websites you visit to see if you have credit cards, debit cards, or app-based payment methods saved in Chrome.
SWITCH TO A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BROWSER:
Go to Settings.”
Disable “Open webpages in the app”.
DO NOT TRUST INCOGNITO MODE:
Regardless of which browser you choose, if you want to stay inconspicuous online, don’t rely on incognito mode. This is due to the possibility that your ISP and public Wi-Fi providers already know the websites you visit.
Even some ad trackers have the ability to monitor you in incognito mode (fingerprinting you using a combination of your hardware, software and IP address instead of cookies).
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