How to secure your Android device [Android 101]

The devices we carry everyday can hold to most precious information to us – credit card numbers, passwords, you name it. So what happens if you device is stolen or misplaced? You’d definitely want that information to be protected from getting into the wrong hands.

Luckily there are ways to protect the information on your device from bad people. The easiest way to do so is controlling the lock screen. Here are the 5 main ways to set a lock on your Android.

Slide

Slide unlock

To begin, the Slide option won’t keep people out of your phone, but it will keep your phone from unlocking in your pocket. First navigate to the Screen Lock menu (usually located under Settings > Security > Screen Lock). Once here, you should see a few options to choose from. Tap Slide, and that’s it! Lock you phone, and slide the lock over to the edge, and you’re in!

As you can see, this barely offers security to your device, but it does stop your phone from potentially butt-dialing someone in your pocket or purse.

Face Unlock

Face unlock

Face Unlock is a very unique way to get into your phone. It makes you hold up the device to your face, and using the front-facing camera, it will (hopefully) recognize your face and let you in. Head to the Screen Lock menu, and choose Face Unlock. For best results, head indoors to a well-lit room, and hold the phone at eye level. After your device has recognized you, you need to set up either a Pattern or a PIN as a backup. Once you set up one of those, you’re all done!

In our experiences, this method works about 75% of the time. If you’re a person who wears hats, sunglasses, or anything else that could change the look of your face, we’d advise using a different unlocking method.

Pattern

Pattern Unlock

The Pattern unlocking method is our favorite method of security on Android. It presents a grid of 9 dots used to enter in your unique pattern. Choose Pattern from the Screen Lock menu, and follow the on-screen prompts. Enter in whatever pattern you’d like, whether simple or complicated. Just remember, you need to enter it in exactly the same way every time. After the pattern is recorded twice, your lock is set up.

In the Security menu under Screen Lock, you should see an option to “Make pattern visible”. When that box is checked, your pattern will show up on your screen as you enter it. If it’s unchecked, the dots won’t light up when you trace your finger over them. If you choose to not make your pattern visible, it may make it more difficult for people looking over your shoulder, trying to steal your password.

PIN

PIN Unlock

PIN unlock is a very secure way to lock your device. Under Lock Screen, choose PIN, and enter a 4-digit pin that you’ll be able to remember. After entering it in twice, you’re done!

Password

Password Unlock

Password unlock is the most secure way to lock your device out of all of the options. Head over to Lock Screen, enter a password, and there you have it. Every time you enter your device, you’ll need to type this password out.

With a password, it might take you a bit longer to get into your phone, but it will be much more difficult for bad people to steal your password.

Anything else?

There are a few other options to customize your lock screen on an Android device. There aren’t anymore screen locking options, but there are a few extra customizing options.

Automatically lock – In the Security menu, there will be an option to “Automatically lock” your screen. If your screen times out, or locks on it’s own, you can choose to have the phone lock immediately or delay for a few seconds. If it locks immediately, your password is required immediately after the phone goes to sleep. However, if you set your phone to lock a few seconds after it sleeps, you don’t need to enter your password right away. This definitely saves a bit of time if you need to keep going back to your phone repeatedly.

Power button instantly locks – You can also choose to check the “Power button instantly locks” box. If checked, once you hit the power button, it instantly locks your device. If it’s left unchecked, the device will sleep when you press the lock button, but a password isn’t required to get back into the phone.

Lock Screen Widgets – Under the “Power button instantly locks” tab, there is a check box to “Enable lock screen widgets”. Simply put, it will enable widgets to be available directly from your lock screen. If you’d like more information on lock screen widgets, you can find a detailed post here.

Owner info – The last part of your lock screen that we will visit is the “Owner info” tab. Click Owner info, and there will be a check box reading “Show owner info on lock screen”. If checked, the text entered in the box below will show on your lock screen. This is useful if you lose your device and have a passcode, someone can still return it to you if you have your information available. We’d recommend at least entering in your first and last name to display.

Still having trouble? Head to the comments and we will do our best to help you out! If there is anything you would like to suggest to AndroidGuys or to any other readers, feel free to use the comment section below!

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