Many of the basics you already know. Setting a strong PIN — or better yet, an alphanumeric passcode — to lock down your device is a great start, and making sure you keep your device up-to-date with the latest security patches. Plus, protecting your Google account with two-factor authentication can save you from even the most well-resourced hackers. What’s more, a number of Android’s built-in security features are switched on by default, such as verified boot, a feature that ensures that the device’s firmware hasn’t been tampered with by malware, and Google Play Protect, Android’s in-built app scanner, which protects against malicious apps like spyware and stalkerware. It’s unlikely you’re using all of the apps installed on your Android device. Not only can uninstalling your unused apps help to free up storage space on your device, it can also dramatically improve the security of your device, as these apps — though unused — can still run in the background, collect, and then share your personal data.
Android and privacy haven’t always gone hand in hand. The majority of Google’s revenues still come from its data-driven advertising business, which is primarily reliant on user data, much of it acquired directly from Android users. By incorporating a variety of security safeguards and privacy protections into the software, Google now provides its users more control over how and when the search giant accesses Android-related data.
Thankfully, getting rid of these so-called zombie apps is pretty straightforward. Simply head to the Google Play Store, tap Menu, and select My apps and games. From here, you can select the apps you want to get rid of and remove them from your device.