Securing Android Devices

Intended Audience

This article is intended for current faculty, staff, and students who would like to know more about securing their Android Devices.


To follow this article you will need to have a device that runs an Android operating system, also called an Android Device.

NOTE: Android devices often differ slightly in configuration and appearance. The settings menu that you see may differ slightly compared to what is shown in this article.

Before You Begin

Most of the needed security settings can be found by clicking on the Settings icon in the applications menu.

Table of Contents

Setting up Screen Lock [Back]

Setting up a lock requires a password, PIN, or pattern for access. On some devices, other biometric security options such as fingerprints and facial recognition are available. This prevents others from being able to easily unlock your device and access your private information.

  • In the Settings menu, 
  • Click on Lock Screen 
  • Click on Screen lock type 
  • Select an one of the listed options to secure your device.


Set the screen lock to auto-lock after 15 or fewer minutes of inactivity. This, in conjunction with your password/PIN/passcode, protects your device from unauthorized use and helps conserve battery power.


  • From the Settings screen 
  • Click on Display  
  • Click on Screen timeout.
  • Set a time limit of fewer than 15 minutes.

In the Lock screen menu, click on Lock automatically and set a time limit so the total combined time of screen timeout and lock screen time is less than 15 minutes.

Encrypting Your Android Device [Back]

Turn on data encryption. This prevents others from accessing the data on your device.

  • From the Settings screen, 
  • Click on Security 
  • Click on Encrypt or decrypt SD card.

Device Locator: Android Device Manager [Back]

Install and use a device tracking app. It will help you track or remotely erase your device if it is lost or stolen.

A popular choice is Google Find My Device (formerly known as "Android Device Manager"). To install it, please follow the steps below.

  • From the applications menu, click on the Play Store app
  • Use the magnifying glass in the upper right corner to search
  • Type in and search for Android Device Manager OR Google Find My Device
  • Click on the install button.
  • Once installed, open the app and follow the onscreen instructions.

Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth When Not In Use [Back]

When not using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, turn them off. This prevents unauthorized access to your device through those connections.

You can turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth by going to Settings > Connections.

Regularly Update Your Devices [Back]

Keep your Android firmware and apps updated. This helps to ensure you have the latest security updates installed. Your phone should prompt you automatically when updates for applications are available. Click on the prompt and accept the update.

  • For updating the phone's firmware and software, click on Software update and you will see any available updates for your device.

Install Apps From Trusted Sources [Back]

Only install trusted market apps, such as Google Play or Amazon Marketplace apps. This helps avoid installing malware that may be hiding in untrusted apps.

  • From the settings screen 
  • Click on Security 
  • Click on Install unknown apps and ensure that no permissions are granted.

Wipe Your Device Before Selling It [Back]

Before you sell or give away your device, erase all content and settings. This prevents others from accessing your data.

  • Click on General management from the Settings screen.
  • In the General management menu, select Reset.
  • In the Reset menu, select Factory data reset.
  • Please note that the Factory data reset will delete all the data on the phone and you will lose any information you have not backed up to a secure location.

Additional Information

For a complete list of minimal Android Device security requirements and assistance, please visit the safe computing page at


If you have any questions or experience any issues with this article, please visit or contact the ITS Helpdesk for assistance.


Location: 206 Murchie Science Building


Phone: (810) 762-3123



Article ID: 5513
Thu 5/6/21 11:13 AM
Wed 3/8/23 10:56 AM