Want to make sure you hang onto your shiny new phone? Google recently posted several easy ways to secure your Android smartphone and tablet.
You can easily set up these tips and tools on an Android phone or tablet to keep your device – and the contents inside – safe and secure. Google has released a new service that makes it easy to locate a misplaced device (similar to the Find My iPhone app for iPhone users).
1. Lock your device screen
Whether you’re on a phone or a tablet, it’s easy to set up a screen lock. This is important to do in case your device gets left in the back of a car, or you’re worried about someone picking up your phone and scrolling through your stuff. You can lock your device with a pin, password, pattern (or even your face) by going to Settings > Personal > Security > Screen Lock.
2. Protect your phone from suspicious apps
Google automatically scans its app store Google Play to block and remove harmful apps. That makes Google Play the safest place to get Android apps. But Google Play can also help protect you even for apps you get elsewhere, like the web or a third-party app store. The first time you start to install an app from an unknown source, a message will pop up asking if you’d like Google to scan the file to make sure it’s not harmful. Tap “OK” to let Google help protect you from harmful apps.
3. Locate, ring and wipe a misplaced device
Have you ever lost your phone in between the couch cushions or left it in a restaurant? Later this month, you will be able to use a new service called Android Device Manager, which can quickly ring your phone at maximum volume so you can find it (even if it’s been silenced), or locate it on a map, in real time, using Android Device Manager.
If your phone can’t be recovered, or has been stolen, you can quickly and securely erase all of the data on your device to keep your data from ending up in the wrong hands. The Android Device Manager will be available for devices running Android 2.2 and above, as part of Google Play. You can read the full announcement on the Android blog.
For more advice on how to protect yourself online, visit Google’s Good to Know site.
A version of this post first appeared on the official Google blog.