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Android security checkup: 16 steps to a safer phone

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Android security is always a hot topic on these here Nets of Inter — and almost always for the wrong reason.

As we’ve discussed ad nauseam over the years, most of the missives you read about this-or-that super-scary malware/virus/brain-eating-boogie-monster are overly sensationalized accounts tied to theoretical threats with practically zero chance of actually affecting you in the real world. If you look closely, in fact, you’ll start to notice that the vast majority of those stories stem from companies that — gasp! — make their money selling malware protection programs for Android phones. (Pure coincidence, right?)

The reality is that Google has some pretty advanced methods of protection in place for Android, and as long as you take advantage of those and use a little common sense, you’ll almost certainly be fine (yes, even when the Play Store guards slip up and let the occasional bad app into the gates). The biggest threat you should be thinking about is your own security surrounding your devices and accounts — and all it takes is 20 minutes a year to make sure your setup is sound.

Take the time now to go through this checkup, then rest easy over the coming the year with the knowledge that you’re in good shape — and that the mean ol’ Android malware monster won’t be bangin’ down your virtual door anytime soon.

Part I: App intelligence

Step 1: Look over all the apps and services connected to your account

You’ve probably granted countless apps access to parts of your Google account over time — which is no big deal in general, but with any apps you’re no longer using, it’s a smart idea to close the connections.

[Psst: Want even more advanced Android knowledge? Check out my free Android Shortcut Supercourse to learn tons of time-saving tricks for your phone.]