One of the best features of Android is the ability to customize every aspect of your device to suit your own needs. However, if you have no prior knowledge or experience of every single setting available to you, you may have missed some important functions without knowing it. Some settings are easy to find while others may be hidden in another menu.
Fortunately, OnePlus OxygenOS is often considered one of the cleanest versions of Android, right at the top of Google's pixel line. It is often praised when one has the feeling of what Android should look like, but with its own twist. This means a generally better user experience without too complicated things, which is a win-win situation for all of us.
In this guide, I'll cover some general privacy and security settings that you may know about your OnePlus device and some of the lesser known devices. All of these options are located in your phone's Settings app, just like most other Android versions. I'll show you how to get to the individual settings using a dark code box. These represent what you need to tap to get to each one.
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One of the most critical aspects of app security: The permissions that you request from your device should be viewed with great care. Some legitimate apps require many permissions when they have different features, but there are many secure-looking apps that are inherently malicious.
These buggy apps can harm your device by hijacking your system permissions, allowing them to do what they want, but the good news is that you have complete control over every app installed on your device. You can revoke access to any number of permissions for these apps, even if you've previously granted access to those apps.
Settings> Apps & Notifications> App Permissions
You will see a number of different categories, all broken down by the types of system permissions that the apps can access. Some of the most common entries are Contacts, Location, and Memory. If you think that some apps are a bit too intrusive, tap one of the categories to see more details. From there, you can view any app that has access to this permission. Disabling the toggle switch will disable access to the permission for that particular application indefinitely.
By the way, some apps require some permissions to work properly. If you disable it, certain app features will be unavailable to you. However, most newer apps should request a previously revoked permission if needed, but there are still some older apps that do not.
In this case, if you have an older app, you would need to go back to the previous permissions menu and grant access to the one who is causing you problems. If you find that you have a large number of older apps with permission issues, it may be a good time to find suitable apps that match the new Android permissions rule set.
. 2 Device Admin Apps
When it comes to device admin apps, the user gets access to things such as remotely wiping the system or setting up specific e-mail policies for a corporate setting. The best way to do this is to allow apps that you know are safe and want to exist.
Settings> Apps & Notifications> Access Special Apps> Device Admin Apps
Look at the list of apps and make sure you've checked only verified sources that you know are safe. Disable any third-party apps that appear suspicious at your discretion. However, do not forget the basic system functions, such as: Find My Device and Google Pay.
Although this permission is used to overlay items across other apps running in the foreground, this can also pose a security risk. There are many good reasons why you want to see something about an app or your system, such as: For example, the YouTube option Picture-in-Picture, but malicious apps could take advantage of this.
Imagine if an app has been pulled a fake button over one that says "more free apps", but if you tap the button, a payment screen will immediately pop up and you can try your money. In that case, you would immediately leave this trap once you have learned what you want to do.
Settings> Apps & Notifications> Access Special Apps> See About Other Apps
Take a look at all the apps in this list and see if you have apps that make you nervous or may not recognize them. If you find something interesting, select it from the list, then tap the toggle switch labeled "Allow viewing through other apps" to stop it.
This setting allows you to change system-level settings that may be beneficial to the user for a variety of reasons. For example, an app that provides ringtones may want to set the ringtone for you, but requires the "Change System Settings" option. However, as with many sensitive system level settings, it can be misused by the wrong party if it so wishes.
Settings> Apps & Notifications> Special App Access> Change System Settings
Go ahead and go to the menu of all the apps that may be able to change your system settings. If you find one or more apps that may be suspicious, you can revoke access by selecting them and then disabling the toggle switch labeled "Allow System Settings Changes."
. 5 Notification Access
This setting allows apps that are granted access to read or even dismiss all your notifications at any time. This may sound scary, but can bring a number of benefits to the user, e.g. For example, the ability to use the Notification Points or Badges of Nova Launcher . At the same time, the Notification Access setting can also affect your privacy if used by a malicious app instead.
Settings> Apps & Notifications> Accessing Special Apps> Notification Access
As before, review the apps listed in this menu to see if suspicious apps with granted access exist. Disable any apps that you think are right, but you know that in some cases some are required. If you find that the app's notifications are incorrect, you may need to leave this setting turned on for it to work properly. Make sure you trust the app before you keep this setting for the future.
The way non-Google Play Store apps are loaded from the page changed with the launch of Android Oreo. Prior to this version of Android, you only had to grant access to "unknown sources" once, and the entire system was good for launch. Now the system prompts you to grant permission every time a new app requests access to it. This is a great security feature that gives you complete control over which apps can be installed on your system.
Settings> Apps & Notifications> Accessing Special Apps> Installing Unknown Apps
View the apps in this list and see if everything is checked out properly. If you do not or very rarely plan to load apps at this time, you can also disable apps that have access to the apps. Select the app, and then uncheck the "Allow from this source" checkbox to revoke the app's ability to install other apps.
This setting allows all apps that have been granted access to track which other apps you use, how long they have been used, and even display your language preferences. Useful in some cases, usage access can also be harmful if a malicious app has access to it.
Settings> Apps & Notifications> Special App Access> Usage Access
In this menu, you can take a look at the apps and see if everything looks good. You should generally use the main Google apps and services by default, but use your judgment for all other apps. To turn off app access, tap the app you want to work with, and then disable the toggle switch labeled Allow Usage Access.
Wi-Fi Control allows all apps that have been granted access to turn your Wi-Fi connection on or off. Scan or connect to Fi connections, or even completely remove a network. You'll find that many secure apps use this for legitimate reasons, but it can be a clear security threat if used by a malicious party. It can even allow the attacker to track your location at any time. GPS is not required because you can track your IP address and discover your location over your home network.
Settings> Apps & Notifications> Special App Access> Wi-Fi Control
Crawl this list like the previous ones to make sure everything is checked and safe. Most secure and legitimate apps whose names you know and trust are fine, but any apps you think are shady may lock their access. Select the app whose permissions you want to revoke, and then disable the toggle that says the app is allowed to allow Wi-Fi control.
Location data is one of the most sensitive and intrusive things about our devices. It may seem a little strange and scary that individual companies or apps can read our location data at any time. However, location access has many benefits, such as: Weather, GPS coordinates on the go and local news.
Settings> Security and Lock screen> Position
Go to the "Scan" section of the above menu and you will notice that both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scans should be enabled by default. This information is used to make your location information as accurate as possible by using multiple sources. However, you may consider deactivating them for privacy reasons. Even if your GPS is turned off, your system can collect location data using just these two settings. This is the best course of action if you are somewhat suspicious when being tracked over your device.
Reliable protection for your device is locking specific apps for retention behind a password or fingerprint. Some useful apps that you might want to lock using the OnePlus app lock feature include email, photos, private messages, phone app, or contacts. For any information that may contain sensitive information, it may be useful to lock it with your fingerprint.
Settings> Utilities> App Lock
As a bonus, the "Hide notification content" option in the main screen will be disabled as notification for the selected apps until you grant them access. You do not have to worry about your personal messages if you lock them with the App Locker feature.
. 11 Hidden Space
The OnePlus Hidden Space option lets you organize apps that you do not use by hiding them or preventing people from sniffing the apps you want to keep private. Combining the App Locker Tip with it from the top gives you first-rate security for anyone looking to improve their privacy settings.
Swipe up the OnePlus launcher to open the app tray as usual to the left of the screen and drag it to the right. You now have access to hidden space mode, where you can hide as many apps as you like. Tap the + button, then search for the apps you want to hide, and then tap the back arrow. Your new hidden apps will now only be accessible through this pull-down menu, unless you bring them back.
This option was introduced some time ago in Android and is now as helpful as it was then. With Google Find My Device, you can use GPS to locate your phone on maps, disable the ringtone if you insert it incorrectly, or even remotely erase your device if it is stolen.
Settings> Security & Lock screen> Find My Device
From the main screen, make sure the switch is on to allow your device to access these features at any time. Now you can install the Find My Device app so you can use it on another device if your device is lost. You can also check out the site on a computer or type "find my device" through a Google search.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to back up your device is to use a good old lock screen. Setting a password, pattern, or PIN can protect your device if it falls into the wrong hands. It does not seem like much, but the strong screen lock can keep someone at bay if you try to get into your phone
In certain situations, you may want to lock your device and disable your fingerprint, face lock, and all notifications on the lock screen. If you plan to leave your device somewhere for an extended period of time, locking your phone with this method is very useful.
You will not lose your fingerprint data or facial information for Face Unlock – instead they will only be disabled. This mode is active. The only way to access your phone when the lock is triggered is to use your PIN or password to prevent most users from logging in.
Settings> Security & Lock screen> Screen lock presets> Show lock option
If you enable the "Show lock option" setting above, you can enable this new security setting by pressing and holding the power button. If you tap the Lock option, you'll be immediately thrown onto the lock screen.
With the increased use of our face to unlock our devices, this may be very convenient, but by default there is a slight problem that may be a problem with OnePlus devices. As soon as you look at your phone with the screen switched on, it will be released immediately. But what if you tried to review your notifications?
No privacy problem in itself, but maybe you did not want it Unlock your phone in a public area with a large group of people. After all, you just wanted to check that the Facebook message is really fast, and not unlock your entire phone.
Settings> Security and Lock screen> Face Unlock> Auto unlock after the screen is turned on
If you have disabled the above setting, OnePlus users with the Face Unlock feature enabled can view their notifications on the lock screen without unlocking the entire phone each time. Not only does the lock screen serve as a security, it's also a place for information that matters to us, such as a friend's notification.
Around the time of Android Oreo, Google brought all phones using the Play Store a tidy security feature called Google Play Protect. This scans the apps installed on your system and looks for malicious code that might lurk in some apps. It automatically runs in the background, but you can also force a manual scan in the My Apps section of the Play Store.
Settings> Security and Lock screen> Google Play Protect
Use this menu to verify that your system is set to "Scan for security threats" so your device can be protected at all times. If you'd like to help Google make Play Protect even better, and you do not mind collecting some data about your side-loading apps, you can turn on Improve Malicious Apps Detection.
You are using an Android phone. So it's likely that you're using a Google Account at the same time to get the most out of your device. However, we all know that Google is a big data company. What if you do not want to share so much of your information with them? Just as in the previous section on general location settings, this setting may be a little bit sensitive. For example, Google may have been tracking your location information all the time to improve the other services.
Settings> Security and Lock screen> Location
In the Location Services section, select Google Location Accuracy and disable this setting if you do not want to participate in improving other products or services. It will take effect immediately after disabling the switch, but the phone will need a little more battery the next time the GPS location is accessed.
Press the back arrow to return to the previous menu and select "Google Location" History. "If you do not want Google to save your location data, disable the option by moving" Location History "to the off position To be extra confident, tapping "Manage Activity" will permanently delete your entire location history from your account.
As a last step, tap the back arrow to return to the main page of the location section Google Location Sharing setting to ensure that all information is checked out You should either see nothing or only the people you have granted access to view your location, or if you want to revoke everyone's access at any time, tap to the "X" with the name, and that does that.
18. Reset Advertising ID
As already mentioned Google is a company that wants to collect and use data for a particular use. Whether you want to improve your products or show relevant ads based on your browsing history, they always collect information about you. To avoid the idea that anonymous data is being tracked about you, you'll need to reset your ad ID, which will start the ad tracking data again.
Settings> Google> Ads
If you keep the tracking to a minimum, it's a good practice to reset this ID once a month if possible. All you have to do is tap the "Reset promotional ID" option in the above menu and then tap "OK" when prompted.
This is based on the idea of the previous Google Ad Tracking ID idea, but slightly different. You can prevent third-party apps from accessing and using your tracking ID. This is ideal in most situations. Of course Google can continue to use it, but everyone else can not use your ad ID indefinitely.
Settings> Google> Ads
Tap the "Opt out of Ads Personalization" option in the menu above to create a pop-up window in which you tap "OK", then you will be officially excluded from this service.
The app preview messages are a useful and interesting feature. For example, you can make video calls from Google Duo to another participant who has not installed the app on their device. The party that does not have the app receives a notification and then receives an invitation to instantly install the app. However, it can also lead to minor security problems.
Settings> Google> News in the App Preview
Say that you do not like the idea of receiving an invitation because a friend notifies you of an application that you do not have disable the above settings and stop unwanted notifications. Turn the toggle switch off and touch the "OK" message when prompted, and that's it.
Being able to sign in to Google is one of the coolest and easiest ways to create a new account or sign in to a website or app. You already have a Google Account. So why should you create a new account for each service if you can sign up for one? Chances are, this login feature has probably granted some third-party apps access to your account.
Settings> Google> Connected Apps
It's always a good idea to conduct regular security audits on who has access to what's on your Google Account. Google even reminds you to do it regularly. This is always helpful if you forget to try it later. View the Connected Apps menu and look at the list of apps and services that have access to your account.
Take out everything that does not belong or you no longer want to, and tap Disconnect. Follow the instructions on the screen, and that will do it forever. If you are satisfied with how everything looks here, you can proceed to the next tip.
The Google Nearby feature is used to make it easier to communicate with nearby devices or environments. It has the potential to be useful but has not yet dealt with public space. This would bring more than just local businesses and retailers. Some wireless headphones use this feature for Fast Pair, which is useful for easily connecting your headphones to your device.
The near function can also be used for something outside the box, such as a museum. The museum can transfer information to your phone when you approach a certain interesting object. This would be an exciting view of some of the possibilities. It creates a more interactive and innovative journey for everyone with a smart device. It's pretty cool stuff, but not practical for everyday use by the general public – at least not yet.
Settings> Google> Nearby
If you do not think you will use this setting At the moment, it would be alright to disable the above menu by deselecting the option. Since there are not too many practical applications, this should be fine in most cases. However, you lose the fast pair feature with wireless headphones.
If you want to keep fast pair but want to remove the advertising potential, you can do something else. At the top, tap the gear icon, select "Links" and "Popular links", and uncheck the "Show notifications" option for both.
This article was created during the special reports by Gadget Hacks on smartphone privacy and security. Take a look at the entire Privacy and Security series.