Questions tagged [security]

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 at http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/android

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27
votes
5answers
16k 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 bad....
26
votes
2answers
22k 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 they ...
55
votes
5answers
5k 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: ...
45
votes
10answers
21k 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. ...
19
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
10
votes
0answers
44k 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 ...
59
votes
14answers
28k 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 ...
46
votes
6answers
260k views

Disable Screenshot Security

Some apps don't allow screenshots so how can I still take a screenshot? It is my phone and I should be able to do whatever I want with it so why is there even a feature to disallow screenshots? ...
19
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
56k 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. ...
37
votes
2answers
118k 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 ...
30
votes
3answers
9k 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
6k 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? ...
12
votes
5answers
32k views

On Android, how to 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
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
5answers
43k 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 I ...
36
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
31k views

Is there a way for a user to tell if their Android device is encrypted or not?

There is a semi-relevant thread on SO https://stackoverflow.com/questions/12640708/check-if-android-filesystem-is-encrypted that explains how a developer would determine if full-disk encryption is ...
11
votes
11answers
177k 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
6answers
26k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
15k 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 morning)...
62
votes
4answers
55k 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 ...
20
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 ...
24
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
8k 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
8k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
854 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
7k 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
13k 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 screen ...
17
votes
7answers
46k 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 ...
41
votes
11answers
98k 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 ...
53
votes
4answers
16k 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, ...
21
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
14
votes
1answer
6k 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) ...
14
votes
3answers
47k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
32k 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.
8
votes
2answers
581 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
203k views

How can I stop being redirected to the App Store/Google Store by dodgy ad-scripts?

There are a load of sites that do this now, and it's really annoying: I visit a content site on my Android device. 10-15 seconds after loading starts the site hangs for a few seconds. Google play ...
16
votes
3answers
15k 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 have a ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Pros and cons of rooting using apps (“Soft Root”) compared to other methods (“Hard Root”)

There are quite a few app based rooting methods. A recent review 9 free software apps to root Android devices, points to some of them and there may be more apps, paid or otherwise. From what I ...
5
votes
3answers
918 views

Are there any good firewalls available? [closed]

Does the android platform have any firewall application?
1
vote
1answer
4k views

What is Direct Boot or File Encryption in Android N

The title says it all What is it and how does it help users? While this is a self answered question, additional inputs especially from hands on experience are welcome
5
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

How can I limit the number of fingerprint attempts before fallback to other login type?

I've got a Nexus 6P and would like to reduce the number of allowed failures before it blocks fingerprint as an allowed login mechanism - according to https://support.google.com/nexus/answer/6285273 ...
1
vote
1answer
659 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
1answer
31k 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 ...
31
votes
3answers
33k 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 ...