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How to secure your privacy on your phone

SCI & TECH
By George Kiongo | January 18th 2020

Some of us have been using android phones for the longest time yet there are some settings we don’t know about that can really be helpful.

Ever wondered how ads related to what you’ve been searching for online always seem so spot on? This is because Google actually tracks your movement online and serves you up with ads they think are relevant to you. This can be embarrassing at times, to say the least, and a gross violation of privacy for some. 

To stop Google from using your personal information to serve you ads, you can go to settings options on your phone, choose ads and opt out of ad personalisation in the menu that follows.

As for privacy and security especially for those who handle sensitive data on your phone, listen up. Did you know that most phones don’t lock your screen immediately after you press the power button? What they do is only turn off the screen. This means that there is a chance that anyone who picks up your android phone shortly after that can actually get access to the phone and data therein.

To make sure this doesn’t happen, go to settings option then pick security, choose screen lock settings, tap on the gear icon and turn on “power button instantly locks” button. This will ensure that your screen locks as soon as you press the power button.

The third setting on security and privacy is actually one concerned with Google Voice Assistant. The voice assistant is brilliant as a tool for your convenience - the ability to perform almost all your phone’s functions using nothing but your voice is very useful.

How it works is say the words “OK Google” and give a command. The app is designed to bypass your screen lock when it picks up the keyword. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen; Google Assistant can misinterpret your words and sometimes activate the screen bypass even when you don’t say the keywords “OK Google”.

This is bad for security as someone can mimic your voice and unlock your phone. To avoid this, go to the Google app, choose menu or three dots on your top left, then pick settings, voice then look for OK Google detection and turn off the trusted voice feature.   

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