Whether it be recharge, paying for shopping, net banking, or similar purposes, there’s an array of features why Android comes in handy, and you use it. However, having the most extensive OS base in the world, plenty of apps and services are compatible only with Android and Google integration; it is vulnerable to privacy. Besides, it consumes heaps of data. Therefore, you would be looking for how to control privacy and data usage on Android phones, and we have covered you all!
How to Control Privacy and Data Usage on Android Phones?
Privacy and Data usage are linked to each other as each has to achieve them either. However, to control them, there are different actions involved. So, I have suggested actions to control privacy and data usage on Android, which I also follow with mine.
Control Privacy on Android Phones
Controlling privacy on Android Phones involves a series of methods, each of them s quintessential. All of them must be executed carefully to avoid mishaps.
Below-mentioned is a list of the same:
- Tweak Google Account Settings
- Limit Location Tracking
- Turn off Backup
- Remove Saved Passwords and Autofill Data
- Use an Alternative Browser
- Setup 2FA
Let’s learn more about how each of them helps!
1] Tweak Google Account Settings
Google keeps a log of your activities for added personalization. It is claimed that Google collects cookies even in Incognito mode. Since Android needs an active Google account, tweak it to control privacy on your phone.
- Go to Settings and open Privacy.
- Scroll down to Activity Controls
- Choose your primary Google account
- Tap on Turn off and select Turn off and delete the activity
By disabling controls of your Google account via web and app activity, the Google search results become less personalized.
2] Limit Location Tracking
Several apps track your location, and often the feature is enabled by default in your phone. Using this, unauthorized platforms can also access location, thus hindering your privacy. Therefore, you must turn off the location.
- Swipe down from the top of the screen to open the Quick Panel
- Navigate to Location and tap to turn it off if you don’t have anything important
If not, then when using apps, do not grant them location permission if they don’t need access. You should set it to deny or Allow While Using the App only.
- Head over to Settings and open Location.
- You will see apps accessing your location; tap to open them and tap on Permissions.
- Navigate to Location and select from the options available in the list
- Next, tap on Google Location History and select your Primary Google account
- Tap on Turn off near Location History and select OK
Google location history does record your location at different places, and it often poses a threat to intruders.
3] Turn off Backup
You would have turned on the backup for extra protection during a data loss. This backs up your contacts, chats, and similar things over Google Drive. However, it has less security; hence, you must turn it off to avoid a Data breach.
- Open Settings and go to Accounts and Backup
- Under Google Drive, select Backup Data
- Toggle off the Backup by Google One button
- Confirm by selecting Turn off & Delete data
You should not turn off sync on your OEM’s cloud drive, as I’ve enabled it for Samsung Cloud. It has greater security and helps when you change your phone.
4] Remove Saved Passwords and Autofill Data
Your Android relies on Google’s Autofill and password manager to save your account passwords. You must be using one and would have saved passwords in your browser. Illicit hackers can anytime hack your account and fetch all your important passwords. Thus, to avoid it, you must turn off saved passwords and autofill data.
- Go to Chrome and tap on the three-dotted icon at the top-right corner
- Tap on Settings, tap on Password Manager
- Click on the gear-shaped icon and turn off the offer to save passwords and auto-sign-in toggles.
- Now, go back and clear saved passwords.
Google does have logs saved of your previous credentials; you must turn it off as well.
- Open Privacy in Settings
- Tap on Auto-fill service from Google and toggle off the button
This will turn off the Autofill service of Google, thus protecting your credentials. Remembering passwords is a hassle, so instead of going for well-known secure password managers, they do come paid.
4] Use an Alternative Browser
Chrome is the most unsafe browser; even its Incognito mode is claimed to store cookies. Since the market for Android is vast, all of them use Chrome. Therefore it is the center of attack for hackers and, on the same side, not secure. So, you must use an alternative and secure browser. These include Mozilla Firefox and DuckDuckGo.
5] Setup 2FA
One of the crucial steps to ensure privacy is to make your account challenging to hack. Therefore, keep difficult-to-remember passwords, which shouldn’t represent any memorable things in your life.
Besides, setting up two-factor authentication is another degree of account security. Hence, enable 2FA for all your accounts.
6] Use a VPN
VPN creates a secure connection between you and the internet. Besides, they keep your IP address anonymous by creating a private network and masking your identity. Thus, it promotes privacy and security both.
So, you must use a VPN while browsing the internet wherever possible. It goes specifically for e-banking, online shopping, checking government services online, and more. Paid VPNs are more effective than free ones.
Control Data Usage on Android Phones
You might have a particular data or WiFi limit, and your phone would consume more than usual. In such a scenario, you would want to restrict it to save large data bandwidth.
Besides, sometimes certain apps access your data uncontrollably in the background, which can become an alarming case of cybercrime in the future. Therefore, you must control data usage as well.
Controlling it is a three-step process that involves the following:
- Turn on Data Saving Mode
- Allow Only Necessary Apps to Run in the Background
- Track Data Usage
I will guide you more about how you should execute each of them.
1] Turn on Data Saving Mode
Android Phones have a Data Saving Mode feature that lets you save data. It restricts background apps from accessing your data.
- Go to Settings and tap on Connections
- Open Data Usage and tap on Data Saver
- Toggle on the Turn On Now button
Now, any of your apps won’t use data in the background.
2] Allow Only Necessary Apps to Run in the Background
Since apps now won’t use background, you won’t receive social media, net banking, food delivery apps, and such notifications. Yet, the data saving mode has a feature to combat the same. You can choose which apps you have to allow access to background data and select them.
- In Data Saver Mode, tap on Allowed to use data while Data Saver is on
- Turn on the Toggle next to the respective app
Thus, only the chosen apps would now use data in the background. Ensure to choose them wisely. Besides, some inbuilt system processes would be enabled by default, do not disable them.
3] Track your Data Usage
You would have selected apps that you want to access background data. These can be Telegram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and more. But sometimes you would have permitted certain unauthorized apps also for various reasons. So, you must check your data usage cycle.
- In Data Usage, go to Mobile Data Usage.
- It displays a list of apps and how much data is consumed
The step applies to mobile data users. If you use WiFi, then choose WiFi as a data usage to track. However, a data saver doesn’t imply it; hence, you can only keep track of data use.
It might have malware if you have not allowed a specific app, and it still consumes data after turning off data usage. So, you should uninstall it. Further, if any allowed app consumes more bytes of data than usual, restrict it as well. Run it through an antivirus program, as it might be causing suspicious activity on your phone.
When you were searching for ways to control privacy and data usage on Android phones, you would have got your answer! To maintain privacy, you must turn off Web & App Activity, location history, backup, and limit Location tracking. Further, remove all your passwords from the browser and set up a 2FA for all your accounts.
Controlling data usage helps regulate data bandwidth since Android consumes a lot. Additionally, the measures involve also detect anonymous data consumption activities. So, to compromise, you must turn on Data Saver, allow only required apps to access data in the background and monitor if any app uses data more than usual.