Russia has been invading Ukraine for over a month, and concerns about cybersecurity are growing. Even before the invasion, US officials blamed Russia for cyberattacks on Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense and two banks.

While the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has stated that there are no particular or credible cyberthreats aimed at the US, it has also stated that hypothetical cyberattacks are more likely to target infrastructure. CISA advises that everyone be ready in case something goes wrong. When it comes to cyberdefense, safeguarding your mobile device is a smart place to start. Here are six things Android users may do to keep their data safe.

Always update you OS

Updating your operating system can resolve issues and repair known security risks. If you don’t update to the current version, you and your device are vulnerable to security weaknesses that could expose sensitive information to unscrupulous actors. Some individuals put off updating their operating system to avoid dealing with early glitches, but waiting too long can destroy your PC. Here’s all you need to know about Android 12.

Use two-factor authentication

In the event that your password is compromised, two-factor authentication, or 2FA, adds a second layer of security to your Android account. When you use 2FA, a second message is sent to another device after you enter your password, requesting you to confirm that you are trying to log in. It takes a little longer to log in, but the added degree of protection is well worth it. Here’s how to enable two-factor authentication.

Password manager

A password manager can assist you if you’re having problems remembering several passwords and creating unique passwords for each account. These tools can be used in conjunction with 2FA to securely store passwords and fill login pages automatically. They can also protect you from phishing schemes, which ask you to input your password on a phony website. Check out CNET’s reviews of password managers Bitwarden, LastPass, and 1Password for additional information.

Encrypt your device

Beginning in 2015, Google mandated that all Android smartphones be encrypted out of the box. After your device has been encrypted, every data saved on it is protected by a PIN number, fingerprint, pattern, or password that only the owner knows. Even Google won’t be able to unlock your device without the key. You may learn how to encrypt your phone here.

Remove data from Google

Because Android is a Google product, unencrypted device data may end up on a Google server. You can check with Google to see what data it has about you and request that it be deleted. It’ll take some time, but it’ll be worth it because your information can’t be stolen if it’s not in the system to begin with. Here’s how you ask Google to remove your data, but keep in mind that Google does not guarantee that it will comply with your request.

Last option – reset/delete your phone

You can remotely wipe your phone if you lose it or it is stolen. If you need to do this, our Android settings guide includes a walkthrough. Because this deletes all data from your phone, you should make a habit of backing it up on a second device if you have anything important on it.

For more information on securing your phone, check out these eight apps to protect your phone’s privacy, what information digital security experts wish you knew and how to stop your phone from tracking you.

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