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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to secure your Android phone and keep all important information safe

How to secure your Android phone and keep all important information safe



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Make a recent backup copy of your Android phone. Juan Garzon / CNET

Keeping an up-to-date backup of your Android phone and all the data it contains is an important part of owning a phone. Let's face it, phones are breaking, being mislaid or ̵

1; even worse – being stolen . And when this happens, the financial burden of replacing a phone is stressful enough. Do not add to the stress by not backing up your calendar or photos.

The following when backing up an Android phone: It can be confusing. The backup process and even the service used will differ slightly if you own a Pixel 4 or a Galaxy S10 .

It's a good idea to pick up the phone and take a few minutes to make sure it gets backed up on a regular basis.

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How to Secure Almost All Android Phones

Android has built a backup service that looks like Apple iCloud and automatically backs up things like your device settings, Wi-Fi networks, and app data to Google Drive. The service is free and will not be charged for storage in your Google Drive account.

Google's backup service is built into every Android phone, but some device makers like Samsung also offer their own solutions. If you own a Galaxy phone, you can use one or both services – it does not hurt to have a backup of a backup.

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The Google backup service is free and should be activated automatically.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

Google's backup service should be enabled by default after you set up your Android device. However, you should check if this is indeed the case. If you're having trouble finding the backup settings by following the steps below, use the search bar in the Settings app to find Backup.

Back up apps, data, and settings

To view your backup settings, open the Settings app on your Android device and tap System > Backup . There should be a switch called "Backup to Google Drive". When it's off, turn it on. You can choose which Google Account to use to save your backups by tapping Accounts if you're signed in to more than one Google Account on your phone.

When backup is enabled, your phone automatically backs up the following information:

  • Contacts
  • Google Calendar events and settings
  • Wi-Fi networks and passwords
  • Wallpapers
  • Gmail settings [19659024] Apps
  • Display settings (brightness and hibernation)
  • Voice and input settings
  • Date and time
  • Settings and data for non-Google apps (varies by app)

You see a List of data categories in section Active Backups along with the last time this information was backed up. Touch a section, such as For example, app data to view more information or specify which apps are backed up. For example, when you tap photos and videos, the Google Photos app backup settings page automatically opens.

Switching from one Pixel phone to another backs up and restores your splash screen layout. However, I had mixed luck when I restored a one-pixel backup to a Motorola phone. Your mileage will undoubtedly vary.

You can visit this section at any time and tap Back up to manually start a backup. Make sure your phone is connected to a strong Wi-Fi network and plug it into a charger to speed things up. When updating phones, you should start a backup manually before setting up your new phone.

Photos and Videos

Google Photos offers an unlimited free backup of photos and videos, provided that Google converts them to "high quality". That just means that Google limits the photo size to 16 megapixels and videos at 1080p.

You can choose to have Google Photos backup your photos and videos to their original quality. Anything that gets backed up, however, will count towards your Google Drive storage limit.

Make sure Google Photos is installed on your Android phone, enable the backup, and select the quality you want.

The app automatically backs up your photos and videos once you're connected to Wi -FI.

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Samsung Cloud offers you 15GB of free backup storage.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

Samsung Galaxy Devices

Samsung offers its own backup and recovery service via the Samsung Cloud, which in my experience is somewhat more reliable than Google's backup service.

Verify that the Samsung Backup service is enabled by opening the Settings app and selecting Accounts and Backup > Backup and Restore . There you will find backup settings for your Samsung account as well as for your Google Account.

Use both services . Using both will not only create two backups of your phone, but also give you the option of switching to a phone other than Samsung in a year's time, if you choose, because you can use Google's backup service to restore your phone ,

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Samsung offers several options for device backup.


screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

In the Samsung Account section, tap Back Up Data and make sure all data categories you want to back up in Samsung are enabled. You can manually start a backup by selecting the Save button at the bottom of the screen.

Backups to the Samsung Cloud use 15 GB of free space in your Samsung account. Optionally, upgrade to 50GB for $ 0.99 or 200GB for $ 2.99 per month.

My favorite aspect of the Samsung backup service is that you can restore a single piece of data at any time, such as: For example, the layout of the home screen. For example, if you rearrange your home screen and move a set of apps, but later change your mind, you can go to Samsung's backup settings and restore your splash screen from the last backup with just a few taps.

In "Google Account," make sure Back up my data is checked. If you select a Google Account, the Google backup settings screen described in the section above will open, showing you the current status of backups and starting a manual backup.

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In 2019, nobody should lose their contact list when their phone breaks.


Chris Monroe / CNET

What about backing up your files?

There are several options for backing up files that you have downloaded or saved in your phone's memory. You can either connect your phone to your computer and manually move the files or use cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox.

Set up one of the two apps on your Android device, select the files or folders you want to upload, and let the app do its job.

If you make a habit of storing files in the cloud, you always have a secure copy, and you should not have to worry about routinely uploading updates to one of the two services. [19659006] If you lose your Android phone, we have a guide to help you track it and get it back as soon as possible. We also have a handful of tips and tricks for mastering Android 10 the latest and greatest version of Android.


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