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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55
votes
6answers
28k views

My Gmail is signed in through the app on ex-boyfriend's phone

I had my email signed in on the Gmail app on my boyfriend's phone who is now on the other side of the country. I've asked him a couple times to disconnect it but recently checked out Google Play and ...
39
votes
10answers
11k 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. ...
36
votes
4answers
11k 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, ...
34
votes
4answers
3k 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: ...
33
votes
3answers
2k views

Encrypt the phone's internal storage

Is there a way to encrypt my phone's internal memory, in the same way you would encrypt a computer's partition? Ideally, the phone would always ask for the password when booting, and even if someone ...
29
votes
14answers
6k 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 ...
29
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 ...
23
votes
1answer
14k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

Can there be malicious apps on Google Play?

Do I need to worry about malicious apps on Google Play, or can I trust everything I install, so long as I install it from Google Play? And if I need to worry, what red flags should I look for - ...
22
votes
3answers
6k 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?
22
votes
2answers
14k views

How do I get rid of “Network may be monitored” in KitKat?

Ever since I've installed my own CA in the key store I'm getting warnings that the network may be monitored. Well, I guess that's a valid warning if I don't trust these certificates, but I really ...
21
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
39k 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
15k 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
5answers
8k views

Securing a young child's tablet

My wife has decided to get the kids a set of android tablets for christmas. These are Coby Kyros 4GB wi-fi only models. The kids are ages 6-10 so I don’t particularly want to let them have free ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do some apps with no internet features require internet access?

A couple of apps I've installed or considered say they require internet access even though they have no obvious internet features. One of the most surprising ones was a simple compass app. Why is ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a black list for Android apps?

Is there a blacklist yet for Android apps? After reading things like this on slashdot, I think this sort of thing would be extremely helpful. As much as I like Android because I'm not censored as to ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Audit app permissions easily in one place?

Is there anyway to list all the applications installed on your phone and the permissions they require all on one page, or export the list so it can easily be audited?
19
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 ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Security of Paid apps in Google Play?

What measures does Google takes to ensure that paid apps that are downloaded do not get spread for free? Currently I see a possibility that can leak out a large number of apps: Someone pays to ...
18
votes
3answers
8k views

Does official Gmail app use a secure connection?

As simple as that, when I'm using the official Gmail app to access my email account, does it use a secure connection?
18
votes
2answers
6k views

Stolen phone: is changing your GMail password enough?

My Galaxy phone got stolen today. Of course I blocked my SIM card and changed my password for GMail (and went to the police) but is this enough? Could the person that stole my phone still log in to ...
17
votes
4answers
919 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!
17
votes
2answers
1k views

If I use free WiFi in a hotspot, can data be easily sniffed?

If I use my mobile device in a Wifi hotspot, can I take it that it bears the same risks as using a laptop in that data can be easily sniffed and that the mobile device is also open to ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

Open source app for remote wiping Android phone?

I recently lost my android phone, and regretted not having a remote wipe app installed. However, I do not trust 3rd party compiled apps with such power (too many weak links). Does anyone know of an ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Why can't a keyboard on the Samsung Galaxy S3 collect passwords?

When I enable an input method (a keyboard app) on a Nexus device, I see the following confirmation message: This input method may be able to collect all the text that you type, including personal ...
16
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

Where to find a PIN lock screen that scrambles the keypad on every use?

Is there some way to get a lock screen whose PIN pad changes number layouts every time it's used? It seems like a very basic way to thwart smudge attacks and yet my (broken?) google-fu can't find any ...
16
votes
6answers
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 ...
15
votes
6answers
28k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

What do the permissions that applications require 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

Is it reasonably safe to use PIN code for encryption?

On the Android 4.0 (Samsung Galaxy Nexus) there is a posibilty to encrypt the phone. I found this about the encryption on Android 3.0, is the same algorithms used in Android 4? ...
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 ...
14
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? ...
14
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
964 views

Is it “safe” to provide users with the apk file?

I was wondering, if I have an app that is available on the Play Store, is it "safe" to provide a direct download of the apk file to someone (either signed with the proper keys, or just debug-version)? ...
13
votes
1answer
9k 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?
13
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

How to know if a side-loaded app is safe?

How can we be assured that the APK of an app that we are downloading from a website is safe to install on our Android phone? Is there a way to know that the downloaded file is safe? Is there an app ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

How to protect my Google Account?

I am very concerned with security of my Google account in case I lose the phone (as in: lose it, have it stolen/robbed, etc.). Right now it seems that whoever grabs my phone will also have full access ...
12
votes
4answers
21k views

Is there any WEP cracking application available for android?

Is there any WEP cracking application available for android? If not is WEP cracking technically possible with the API's and hardware available on your average android phone? This is a purely ...
12
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Can my Android device become - remotely and without my permission - a wiretap and get used as surveillance device?

I saw the following article: An article in the Financial Times last year said mobile providers can "remotely install a piece of software on to any handset, without the owner's knowledge, which ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I protect my phone from malicious apps once it is rooted?

I rooted my phone. Now if I use a Terminal Emulator such as Android Terminal Emulator, I noticed that I can can easily obtain root access without a password: $ id uid=10059(app_59) gid=10059(app_59) ...
11
votes
2answers
875 views

Which disk encryption standard is used in Honeycomb?

Does anyone posses an official or un-official information on which encryption standard is used in Honeycomb "encrypt tablet" option? Is there an information on any hacks or backdoors, placed for law ...
11
votes
7answers
20k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
26k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
7k views

Force VPN usage?

On an android phone, stock or modded rom, is it possible to force the use of VPN? E.g. only allow traffic tunneled by VPN, don't allow traffic without using VPN to make sure that no unencrypted ...
11
votes
4answers
15k 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 ...