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In the present world, smartphones have transformed to become some of the most treasured and valued gadgets, leave alone the popularity part of the tale.

Android, on the other hand, is the leading or rather most used mobile operating system in the world. This is because of the fact that the OS is open source – meaning that any fitting OEM can use the OS on its mobile devices. The result of this has been that hackers have been flooding the platform with different kinds of tricks, all of which are aimed at sabotaging the normal functionality of the device and its services.

In fact, mobile devices are not just home to many of the passwords, PIN numbers and a host of other credentials. It also plays home to volumes of other personal files, among them photos and videos. With this in mind, you’ll agree that security on this device is paramount.

Google wants to ensure that its ecosystem remains clean and secure in order to avoid mass exodus to other platforms such as iOS. The company wants to retain the formidable ties it has established with some of the globe’s biggest names, for instance, Samsung, LG, Sony and just recently, BlackBerry. The latter is known for its secure platform, something that has made the BB OS a mainstay in major government offices. However, it jumped to Android largely due to its popularity. This is a very young relationship and it is something Google will go through thick and thin to keep.

With that said and done, here is a look at five security tips that Google is recommending to owners of Google accounts who want to stay safe when on the web as well as keep their devices safe and secure.

Only download apps from the Google Play Store

The Play Store is the only place you can trust when downloading apps to your Android device. Google has an Android Security Team that scrutinizes all apps before they can be uploaded to Google Play. This ensures that no unsecure app is published. In addition, since the team keeps on monitoring the Android app store, there is little room for malicious developers to come in with unsafe apps.

Google will usually block any app it finds to be in violation of its Play Store rules and regulations.

Set screen lock

A second recommendation from Google is to use screen lock. This is one thing that very many people ignore, but it may save you a fortune. With screen lock activated, it means one needs a password to access even your contacts, just to say the least of all.

Activate Android Device Manager

With an activated Android Device Manager, you will be confident that your device can be located, locked or even wiped remotely when you accidentally lose it or it’s stolen. In this way, no stranger can get access to your personal information.

The Android Manager can easily be activated via the Security section of the Google Settings app.

Use encryption

Encrypted information means that to access it one must have a decryption key, which must be supplied by the owner. By encryption your information, you will render it unreadable. This setting is available under the Security Settings > Encryption.

Know your apps’ permissions

When installing apps on your Android device, they will usually ask for permission to access certain features or services of your phone. For instance, WhatsApp will ask for permissions to access your contacts, camera, and so forth. Always make sure you take note of the permissions you are handing an application, for this might be the source of leaking out your information to strangers.

Lucky are those using the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow for they can choose which permissions to give to an app and when to give them out. It has a simple on and off system for permissions, something that users of Android Lollipop and lower versions will be begging to have after reading these tips.

Maybe at some point Google might decide to bring this ability to older versions of Android.