Securing Mobile: Settings

See my criteria for this page here.

iOS 16

Android 13

NOTE: Due to the nature of Android devices, the exact layout of the menu may vary from device to device.
  • Network & internet: Private DNS: Private DNS provider hostname: Any provider from this list (You can ignore this if you plan to use a VPN on your device)
  • Connected devices: Connection preferences: Bluetooth: Disabled when not in use
  • Connected devices: Connection preferences: Printing: Default Print Service: Use Print Service: Disabled
  • Connected devices: Connection preferences: Nearby Share: Off
  • Connected devices: Connection preferences: Android Auto: Disabled
  • Apps: All apps: Uninstall or disable any apps you don't use.
  • Apps: Default apps: See Securing Mobile: Replacement Apps
  • Notifications: Notification history: Disabled
  • Notifications: Device & app notifications: Review settings
  • Notifications: Notifications on lock screen: "Don't show any notifications"
  • Display: Lock screen: Don't show notifications at all
  • Display: Screen timeout: Shortest duration you are comfortable with
  • Display: Wallpaper & style: Change wallpaper: Set your lock screen to something generic and non-personal (no family photos, etc)
  • Accessibility: Text-to-speech output: Preferred engine settings: Anonymous usage reports: Off
  • Security: Screen lock: Strong password preferred, followed by PIN, Pattern, and Swipe. A fingerprint is also acceptable (coupled with a strong password or PIN)
  • Security: More security settings: Smart Lock: Not recommended
  • Security: More security settings: SIM card lock: Enable (contact your provider for the SIM PIN)
  • Security: More security settings: Encryption & credentials: Encrypt phone: Enabled
  • Security: More security settings: Encryption & credentials: Clear credentials (this may be a good idea if this is not a new phone)
  • Security: More security settings: Trust agents: Disabled
  • Privacy: Permission manager: Review each category and app.
  • Privacy: Show passwords: Disabled
  • Privacy: Personalize using app data: Disabled
  • Privacy: Autofill service from Google: Use Autofill with Google Disabled
  • Privacy: Google location history: Disabled
  • Privacy: Activity controls: Review
  • Privacy: Ads: Opt out of Ads Personalization: Enabled
  • Privacy: Usage & diagnostics: Disabled
  • Location: Disable if you don't use it, otherwise review apps and disable permissions accordingly
  • Safety & emergency: Emergency information: I encourage you to set this up in case of emergency. Saving a life should always be prioritized over privacy.
  • Safety & emergency: Emergency Location Services: Disabled (they will pull the information regardless if you dial emergency services)
  • Passwords & accounts: Empty all saved passwords, use a password manager instead
  • Google: Disable everything (exception: enable "Opt out of Ads Personalization")
  • Any settings not covered are personal preference and are unlikely to cause any privacy or security issues no matter how you set them.
  • Note: it is possible to use an Android device without ever signing into a Google account for added privacy. This must be done during device setup. You can use Neo Store (F-Droid for older Android versions) to procure most open source apps, and Aurora Store as a proxy for the Play Store for anything else you can't get on Neo or F-Droid.
  • Note: Android in particular is capable of a number of powerful, privacy- and security-enhancing strategies that iOS is not, such as the aforementioned "no account required," alternative app stores, sideloading, user profiles, and much more. Some of these are advanced techniques, but not all, though many of them fall outside the scope of this site. For those using or considering an Android device, I strongly encourage you to check out Privacy Guide's Android page to get an idea of some of the things your phone is capable of.

By enabling all of these settings, you are significantly reducing the amount of tracking and data collection these devices perform, but keep in mind that you are not completely eliminating it.