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Does anyone have any suggestions on securing an Android device? I'm not particularly interested in enterprise level software - I'm looking to secure my own ZTE Blade phone which has a lot of personal information on it.

Question taken from: http://www.reddit.com/r/netsec/comments/hsdgc/best_practices_for_securing_an_android_device/

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6 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Use the features already on the phone as your first choice.

Other Recommendations.

  • Screen lock / password.
  • Only allowing Known Sources (i.e Android Market), remember that an application is an important attack vector.
  • Don't load hacked applications ;)
  • Don't load many applications at all.
  • Dont root your phone.
  • Unless you have a secure folder as @Traroth mentions, everything on the sim card can be retrieved by your attacker.
  • Think about stored passwords to websites, I recommend Android LastPass myself as it encrypts at rest, but the password has to be entered on demand to make this very secure. It can do secure notes as well which might be useful to you.
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Anything you would change or add to the list in 2013 ? –  nutty about natty Sep 28 '13 at 11:32
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Some sort of remote wipe is important, I use google apps and their device manager to remote wipe our devices. –  Andrew Russell Oct 13 '13 at 0:33
    
@AndrewRussell sim or sd card? –  Marek Sebera Oct 16 '13 at 20:54
    
hi @MarekSebera I think the sim and sd cards will be ignored for remote wipe (I dont know for sure though). –  Andrew Russell Nov 11 '13 at 22:56
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There a bunch of apps on Android which offer an encrypted folder you can only access with a password to let you store your sensitive files. For example Secure File, but it's not the only one:

http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/tools/secure-file_ujcc.html

Unfortunetly, the website doesn't indicate which encryption algorithm is used, so it's hard to say to which point it's actually secure. I would say: Secure enough to protect you against a random thief stealing your smartphone because it's shiny, but not enough against a corporate spy who is after your data...

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digitalchris at reddit provided this list of software tools to help protect:

  • Android screenlock
  • Droidwall - Firewall App
  • Norton Security Beta - Anti-malware and tracking
  • Prey - Tracking application
  • TextSecure - Encrypted text
  • RedPhone - Secure phonecalls
  • Where's my droid - Tracking
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You may want to consider installing NSA's Security Enhanced Android

Features:

  • Per-file security labeling support for yaffs2,
  • Filesystem images (yaffs2 and ext4) labeled at build time,
  • Kernel permission checks controlling Binder IPC,
  • Labeling of service sockets and socket files created by init,
  • Labeling of device nodes created by ueventd,
  • Flexible, configurable labeling of apps and app data directories,
  • Userspace permission checks controlling use of the Zygote socket commands,
  • Minimal port of SELinux userspace,
  • SELinux support for the Android toolbox,
  • Small TE policy written from scratch for Android,
  • Confined domains for system services and apps,
  • Use of MLS categories to isolate apps.

Get the download here: http://selinuxproject.org/page/SEAndroid

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Suddenly this NSA's security enhanced Android doesn't sound too appealing;) –  Chris Andrè Dale Sep 24 '13 at 5:14
    
I doubt there would be any intentional backdoors in this release. –  Vorac Oct 28 '13 at 10:25
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I would recommend tracking software such as Lookout Mobile Security (+antivirus) or Prey Project.

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I would recommend you root phone.

Droidwall - Firewall App. ( Necessarily, if you connect to internet through device)

Prey - Tracking application. ( To track your device from home PC, you should looking for another one/two same software. Prey is very popular, it will be disabled firsts. )

Use software to backup/restore firmware and keep clean image of firmware on your PC in addition to sdcard. Better on DVD-R.

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