For more generic questions relating security issues. For specific issues having their own tags, please use those -- e.g. 'malware', 'antivirus', 'privacy', 'lost-phone'. Please see the full tag wiki for more. For more in-depth Android security issues, you might rather want to visit our sister-site ...

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26
votes
5answers
14k views

My phone was just stolen an hour or so ago. Are there any options for tracking?

I realize this is a long shot, but my phone was lost or stolen a few hours ago. At the time it was stolen, I didn't have any specific applications installed to track it or wipe the data. So... my ...
22
votes
2answers
11k views

What do Android application permissions mean?

When installing an application, the application lists permissions that it needs to perform its functions. I am creating this list of the the system defined permissions and a description of what ...
47
votes
5answers
4k views

Is an antivirus really needed for Android?

I use Linux for half a decade now, so I am not used to dealing with viruses anymore. To my surprise, I saw some discussion about antiviruses in Android. I haven't installed any yet, but this bugs me: ...
43
votes
10answers
19k views

Is there a way to block access to or wipe my Google data for a lost/stolen phone

If my phone was ever lost or stolen, my only real concern is data and apps associated with my Google account, such as my Gmail, the ability to purchase apps from the Market, and maybe Picasa albums. ...
8
votes
2answers
36k views

How to unlock device when I forgot my password?

I've read Recovering from forgotten lock pattern which states that there is an option to disable the lock using my Google account information. However I did not noticed such an option when I entered ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there any way to erase personal information from my phone that has already been stolen?

My phone has been stolen. I do not want the thief to have access to any of my personal information such as calls, texts, and information saved in the phones contents. Is there any possible way I can ...
19
votes
6answers
3k views

How can I find a lost phone or help people return it?

I'm looking for an app like Where's My Droid to help locate a lost device. Ideally I'm hoping there is one that might have two specific features: The ability to display a message to the screen to ...
47
votes
14answers
12k views

Are there any tools to sandbox a malware application even more than the granted permissions on Android?

Suppose I want to run some program which requests too many permissions. For example, record from the microphone or read IMEI of my phone. However, there are no practical explanation why recording from ...
27
votes
3answers
7k views

What are the security disadvantages of rooting an Android phone?

I know there was a discussion previously BUT they didn't talk about security. E.g.: if I root my phone will all my apps run with root permission? Related: Are there any risks to rooting a device?
17
votes
7answers
5k views

Are the apps safe? How can I make my Android more secure?

Are the apps on the Android Market checked or audited? If I search Google for "hardening Android", the best hit I can find is Google Android Hardening Checklist. What's your opinion regarding this? ...
6
votes
3answers
54k views

Logout from Gmail on my device

It bothers me that my Android Phone is permanently logged into my Gmail account. I want to logout from the device and somehow make the phone ask for username/password when connecting to my account. ...
5
votes
3answers
849 views

Are there any good firewalls available? [closed]

Does the android platform have any firewall application?
21
votes
5answers
31k views

Certificate Install without mandatory PIN lockscreen

Google Support says: The type of lock that's acceptable may be predetermined by your system administrator. Where I can define what's acceptable? I can regenerate the certificate if needed. So ...
34
votes
7answers
6k views

Stagefright security issue: what can a regular user do to mitigate the issue without a patch?

There appears to be a giant security vulnerability with Android that seems to basically affect all phones. PC World wrote: The vast majority of Android phones can be hacked by sending them a ...
14
votes
3answers
35k views

How can I override the Device Administrator security policy so that I can disable the lock screen?

On Android 2.2 Froyo, I added my Corporate Exchange Email account to the phone, however, the security policy set by the "Device Administrator" requires that I enter a 4-digit PIN at the lock screen ...
13
votes
2answers
621 views

Does full device encryption protect my data from Google and the government?

Apple recently made waves within the tech community by refusing to comply with law enforcement in regards to accessing encrypted user data. Their statement was that they do not have the technical ...
7
votes
2answers
9k views

Apps install on their own

Every night for the past few days my phone installs a new app that I never saw/wanted/heard of before. It all started with AppCaster (Which I never installed on my phone, it just showed up one ...
3
votes
4answers
11k views

how to add a custom lock for the recovery and/or bootloader?

Unlocking the bootloader and/or the recovery is very popular discussion across many devices. But doing so exposes a very obvious and inevitable issue with security! An unlocked recovery means that no ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

I have sold my phone on eBay. What should I do before I send it off?

I have an Android phone which I just sold on eBay. What measures should I take before posting it off to its new home? Please answer thoroughly!
23
votes
2answers
4k views

What Android sync'd data is encrypted?

With the release of the firesheep plug-in for firefox it has become trivial for website browsing on open Wi-Fi networks to be hijacked by 3rd party listeners. Android offers the convenient auto-sync ...
32
votes
2answers
3k views

How does the Heartbleed security vulnerability affect my Android device?

The "Heartbleed" vulnerability in particular versions of OpenSSL is a serious security issue which allows malicious servers or clients to undetectably obtain unauthorized data from the other end of an ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Deny the installation of apps or add new accounts (kiosk mode)

I have a tablet that I want to give to people to go on the internet, but I don't want them to mess with it (install/unistall apps, add new accounts, change relevant options, etc). Is there a way to ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Find lost device without Gmail account configured and without SIM card

I recently misplaced a phone that did not have gmail account configured and did not have a SIM card in it either. Is there any way I can track it ? All of the tracking apps either require sending an ...
28
votes
1answer
23k views

What's the security implication of having an unlocked boot loader?

Nexus devices can be unlocked using the fastboot command fastboot oem unlock to install a custom firmware. For security reasons, the phone is wiped when this command is executed. However after this is ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I secure/encrypt SD card data transparent to apps?

Are there any off-the-shelf options for securing the contents of an SD card so that files written by apps writing to SD are encrypted? If so, what is the best option? I'm looking for something for ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

How can I make my phone/tablet ring remotely without a SIM card?

I appear to have lost my Streak somewhere in my apartment, and I can't call it since I don't have a SIM card in it. I've remotely installed Plan B just because, but unfortunately the GPS coordinates ...
10
votes
3answers
15k views

My android phone was stolen. How worried should I be with all my google data inside the phone?

Ok, so my samsung galaxy 5 was stolen. I had gmail, calendar, twitter(tweetdeck), facebook, ... all my personal data in it. I didn't have any app installed that could wipe this information from a ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

deactivate PIN-request after airplane mode

When switching on the phone, one is by default asked to enter the SIM-PIN -- which is a good security measure, to prevent "strangers" from causing you costs. Now the same applies when returning from ...
8
votes
2answers
12k views

Connecting to VPN forces having secure screen lock [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Transformer Prime, VPN and password protection I noticed that creating a VPN connection in ICS forces me to use a secure screen lock. I want to have Slide method for my ...
17
votes
7answers
43k views

Security options grayed out

I have my mobile phone (Samsung Galaxy S2) running on ICS. Recently I activated Microsoft Exchnage ActiveSync to connect to my corporate email. It disabled all the security options like 'Pattern ...
8
votes
4answers
19k views

How can I disable or password protect my device's 'factory reset' function?

Is there any way to prevent a factory reset, like password protection? I would basically like to protect my phone from resetting if it gets stolen.
4
votes
6answers
26k views

Find what app is causing popups, NOT in notification bar

I am getting these popups regularly. They do not appear in the notification center so I can't find out what app is causing them. The only app I can think of that I have installed recently, I have ...
4
votes
4answers
8k views

Remote factory reset and changing Google password

In case I ever lose my Nexus 4 phone, I've opened to the Google Settings app, then tapped "Android Device Manager" and from there, I've enabled both "Remotely locate this device" and "Allow remote ...
1
vote
1answer
352 views

I've installed a custom recovery image, but not yet rooted my phone. How can I install SuperSU and subscribe to automatic updates?

I own a Samsung smartphone. I'm running Android 4.1.2 "Jelly Bean". I've also installed ClockworkMod Recovery 6.0.4.5. Each time I exit ClockworkMod Recovery, it offers to root my phone. I haven't ...
32
votes
2answers
71k views

How is the Gmail password stored in Android - and where?

I have looked around and found no information on how Android manages to store passwords on the device. Especially Gmail passwords. I'm looking to learn how Android encrypts and stores passwords ? What ...
46
votes
4answers
14k views

Just how secure is a pattern lock?

I recently had a phone stolen. It's been replaced, I've changed my passwords, the phone company has shut down connectivity for the stolen one... I think I'm pretty much as safe as I can be. However, ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

When selling your phone, what steps should be taken to make sure that all personal data has been removed?

I am getting rid of my Samsung Galaxy S4 and want to know what steps I should take to make sure that private information has been deleted from the phone. I have removed the SD card and cleared all of ...
31
votes
3answers
60k views

Bypass “Swipe up to unlock” on Android Lollipop lock screen

I recently flashed my Nexus 4 to Android Lollipop using the factory image. I have set a pattern lock for unlocking the device. But whenever I turn on the phone, I have to click on the little lock ...
10
votes
1answer
7k views

On Android, how can I disable Google Chrome's incognito mode?

Google Chrome for Android includes a feature called incognito mode. This feature, when I activate it, is designed to help prevent Chrome from automatically remembering and storing information about ...
9
votes
1answer
6k views

Child-proofing an Android phone?

Is there a way (an app, or a special launcher, a set of apps with instructions) that allows turning an Android phone into a child-proof "only call parents" one? Here are my main requirements (and ...
8
votes
2answers
445 views

Android and antiviruses

This is actually three questions: Are anti-viruses needed for smartphones running Android OS? Is the Android Market absolutely safe (because all precautions are taken by Google to prevent any ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I encrypt my external SD card on Android?

I want to encrypt or password protect on my external sdcdard. Thus whenever I remove my ex SD card it will not allow to show any of its data without password, even if it is inserted in Computer. Is ...
15
votes
3answers
12k views

How would you uninstall a rogue Home (Launcher) application?

If you were to install a Home Screen application that does not give you access to the System Settings screen (to go to Manage Applications), and also does not let you launch Apps (such as the Market ...
15
votes
0answers
1k views

Security risks of rooting your android smartphone [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any risks to rooting a device? What are the security risks specific to rooting your android smartphone? Are there any security exploits available because you ...
3
votes
2answers
814 views

Double Security for Gmail

My phone has a pattern lock and I want friends to be able to unlock it with the pattern, however, I do not want them to have access to my gmail. Is there a way that I can force gmail to ask for the ...
39
votes
1answer
25k views

How can I verify the authenticity of an APK file I downloaded?

The latest update of Google Maps is unavailable in my country, so I downloaded a version by googling for "Google Maps 5.4.0 apk". I did in fact find it, but now I wonder how I can tell if this is in ...
23
votes
8answers
53k views

How do I avoid the server-specified security policies for my work e-mail?

When I signed into my e-mail for work (we're on Microsoft Exchange) there were a number of server-specified security policies (See below) How do I avoid these?: I just received a Nexus 7 and signed ...
20
votes
3answers
21k views

List of open ports on Android

Is there a way, on a non-rooted Android device, to see a list of what apps are listening on what port? Or even a way to see if an app is listening on a specific port?
9
votes
2answers
937 views

Security risks of “Open Wi-Fi Networks”

How paranoid do I need to be about allowing my phone to connect to open/unencrypted WiFi hotspots? I don't really care if other people see my data (email being received or sent, stock quotes, ...
8
votes
5answers
8k views

Remotely brick a stolen phone

If my phone is lost or stolen, can I remotely and permanently brick my phone. This way, not only is my data secure, but the resale value of the phone plummets to zero. Tangential question: can apps ...