It’s scary to think about how much data you keep on your Android device and how much someone would find out about your private life if they were to get their hands on your phone. Well, Google already has plenty of your personal data, and it keeps collecting it. Even though it doesn’t publish data on specific individuals online, you still don’t want anyone collecting and using your data.

In addition to big companies like Google, there are also other threats to your online privacy, such as cybercriminals and stalkers. Although it would be difficult to get completely off the radar with your Android device, there are some steps you can take to maximize your online privacy.

1. Take password security seriously

Your passwords are key to your device’s privacy, which is why you should take extra care in enhancing your password security. Strong passwords should be complicated and long and never reused. In addition to using strong passwords, you should also turn on two-factor authentication for your accounts. This will make it as difficult as possible for outsiders to gain access to your accounts and sensitive information.

2. Limit app permissions

You would be astonished to find out how many apps have access to information that they don’t even need. For example, some apps on your phone are probably tracking your location right at this moment and have access to your microphone and camera. Check the permissions you have set for every single app and make sure that these permissions are as restricted as possible.

3. Review your notification settings

Your notifications usually aren’t restricted at all by default. The full content of a message you receive is probably visible on your lock screen right away. What’s the point of using biometrics and a passcode then? If you don’t want random strangers to see all of your notifications, you can limit the extent of information that is visible on your lock screen. Go to your privacy settings, tap on the lock screen section, and set notifications to “show sensitive content only when unlocked”. 

4. Disable personalized advertising

Whenever you receive per sonalized ads, that means that your personal information and online activity are used when deciding which ads to show you. If you’d prefer that Google didn’t use your information for personalized ads and you’d rather get general ads, you can disable ad personalization. To do so, visit the Google section in settings, go to “ads”, and select “opt out of ads personalization”.

5. Use encryption

Encryption is the ultimate privacy tool. When you encrypt your activity, not even Google is able to track what you do online: all it sees are scattered bits of information. To encrypt your data, you can use a special tool like a VPN, which encrypts your entire device and gives it an alternative IP address, making even the country you’re in untraceable. You can also use encryption tools for email or specific files, but a VPN is the most versatile encryption tool available.

6. Scan your device for malware

You might have stalkerware, keylogger, or any other type of malware on your device already, and it might be tracking your every move. It’s a good idea to do a thorough malware scan as often as possible to detect and delete any malware that gets on your phone immediately.

7. Delete unused apps

You probably have plenty of apps on your phone that you haven’t used in months or even years but still keep. These apps not only take up unnecessary storage and make your battery drain faster, but they just add to the list of apps that track your activity and make your information vulnerable. Now would be a great time to go over your entire device and delete all of the apps that you no longer use.

Final thoughts

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t have your best interest at heart when it comes to privacy. Following the tips mentioned in this article will help you avoid surveillance from big corporations and also help prevent cyber attacks and stalkers from accessing your phone and all of the information you store on it. It might be difficult to get completely off the radar, but these tips will help you get as close to that as possible!