Android security settings in ICS and Jelly Bean

For those of you that have an Android device running Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) or Jelly Bean (JB), it may come as a surprise that you can actually manage quite a bit of your device/app security and privacy from within “Settings”. Here are some simple steps I think you should know about your Android device. The following steps are applicable to Ice Cream Sandwich and the latest Android OS and JellyBean only and can be found in “Settings”.

  • The Ice Cream Sandwich “Settings” menu can be found either on the pull down notification bar – you will then need to click the ‘sprocket’ icon or from the virtual button which is to the left of the ‘Home’ button.
  • The Jelly Bean “Settings” menu icon can be found on the pull down notification bar to the right of the time, day/date.

Screen and SIM card security

It is important you consider using a PIN or PASSWORD as a screen lock: Settings > Security > Screen lock > then choose either PIN or PASSWORD

I suggest you also “Set up SIM card lock” to protect your SIM in the event it is lost or
stolen: Settings > Security > Set up SIM card lock > Lock SIM card or Change SIM PIN

Installing Non-Google Play Store apps

Non-Google Play Stores, and in particular those that are located in China*, are the primary driver for malicious apps right now. This isn’t expected to change any time soon either.  If you are a developer or want to run a non-market app then this is what you need to do:

If you want to install non-Google Play Store apps:
> Settings > Security > Unknown sources (remove the check)*

*The Google Play Store isn’t available in China, so by removing the check allows you to
install non-Google Play Store apps.

Backing up and restoring your Android settings/apps

If you want to enable the Backup & reset feature:
> Settings > Back up and reset > Back up my data (check this)
Backup account should show the email address you used to register with Google
> Settings > Back up and reset > Automatic restore (check this)

Did you know? If you ever have to do a factory reset of your device you can still
recover your device data from Google Servers. The Backup & reset feature in Ice Cream
Sandwich and JellyBean allows users to upload a device Wi-Fi, passwords, bookmarks, and other settings and app data and delete copies from Google servers. Android also backs up your Google account data as well as providing an ‘Automatic restore’ capability of all the above.

Safe surfing folks!

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3 Responses to Android security settings in ICS and Jelly Bean

  1. Barry Graham says:

    Have you ever made use of this feature? It seems to be hit and miss as to whether it actually restores anything, and it doesn’t restore everything. Do you know where exactly in Google-land these settings are actually stored and how I can force them to be restored?

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