Several factors feature in someone’s decision when they consider buying a new smartphone. And the latest trends show that security has become an increasingly important spec that people care about. That’s why this article looks at which Android phone currently offers the most secure experience.
Privacy and personal data have become a hot topic on the interwebs thanks to an exponential amount of privacy breaches in the last few years. In fact, 2018 faced a record number of data breaches, with the US leading the pack. 2019 is set to break that record again. An unnerving thought, considering that mobile phones hold so much of people’s personal and sensitive data.
What Makes a Smartphone Smart At Security?
So what is the most secure Android phone right now? The current top pick is the Google Pixel 3. Why was this phone picked? Read on to see how it managed to climb to the top of the list.
Mobile phones face a boatload of security risks. The majority of people are aware of some of them, but a few of them are more obscure. The biggest threats that mobile users are facing right now are:
- Malware: Malicious software that comes in many different forms, including viruses, spyware, and worms. The phone can become infected in a number of ways, including apps, downloads, and message attachments.
- Spyware: Apps that work silently in the background to collect important data like login details and passwords.
- Spoofing: Fake public WiFi networks, emails, websites, etc. that are set up by hackers to infiltrate devices.
- Riskware: Apps that leak data thanks to app permissions and poor security implementation.
- Phishing: Social engineering attempts that get people to give away valuable information.
- Unsecured WiFi networks: These networks can be easily hacked to gain access to everyone who connects to them.
Mobile manufacturers and software developers need to keep these things in mind when creating a secure mobile phone. There’s a big range of different security measures that can be implemented to protect against the threats listed above.
You may also like to read about the best smartphone accessories you can buy.
But these are the most essential countermeasures a mobile phone should have in place:
1. Access Control
This encompasses the ways that phone and apps can be locked to deter outsiders from getting in. The latest advancements in this area include fingerprint and face ID. Passwords, pins, and patterns are still better than nothing, but biometric authentication methods are much more secure.
2. Data Encryption
Encryption means storing data in a randomly scrambled format that can’t be read by anyone who doesn’t have the right key. Mobile phones generally have either file-based or full disk encryption, with the former being the more secure option. Mainly because it allows to encrypt files separately with multiple keys instead of together under one key.
3. Advanced Security Settings
Advanced user settings allow people to increase the number of security layers in a phone. Settings like ‘remote lock’ and ‘find my device,’ for example, are invaluable in case the phone is ever stolen.
4. Fast Security Updates
A phone’s operating system forms the basis on which all other security layers are built. Strong support in the form of security updates is vital for patching any potential openings that hackers could exploit.
Of equal importance is how fast these updates occur. Some Android phones receive updates weeks or months after they’ve been released, making those phones much more vulnerable to outside attacks.
Why The Pixel 3 is The Winner
The Pixel 3 takes the top spot this year in terms of security because it embodies all of these features. Including the much more secure file-based encryption method.
This phone gets an advantage in terms of security updates as well because Google created it. The same company that built the Android OS also delivers those vital updates. Which means that Pixel devices have consistently received updates before many of the other Android phones out there.
Final Thoughts: Always Keep Security in Mind
A phone is only as secure as the security layers that protect it. Adding different layers helps deter attackers from targeting a device because it results in a lot of extra work. So it’s always a good idea to look for additional security tools to add to the roster. Like a VPN for Android, which helps encrypt all online activities (you can download one here). Or a password manager that stores and generates all of your passwords. Having a secure phone is a step in the right direction. But users’ safety is in their own hands, so they should make sure to protect their data and devices.