Whether it’s racism or your government policies, protest is the best way to record your grievance. However, many governments don’t support it and often use laws to convict protestors. However, before they do that, they track the attendees with a digital footprint, soyou must keep your digital Footprint as small as possible to avoid any troubles. In this guide, you will learn how to secure your Android before Attending a Protest. Let’s get started.
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Use multiple Unlock Methods to secure your Android Smartphone
Android Smartphones these days comes with Biometrics unlock methods such as Fingerprint scanner and face scanner along with conventional methods such as pattern, passwords & PIN. Biometric unlock methods are arguably the best when it comes to convenience, but they are not very reliable as they can be misused. For example, if you are apprehended by the Police, they can easily scan your finger or face to get into your smartphone.
However, if you go with conventional methods such as Passwords or PINs, they are more secure and reliable. Also, it’s much difficult to break or bypass conventional unlock methods because they have improved a lot over the years.
Also, make sure that you don’t unlock your Android smartphone in the protest unless it’s important. On top of that, make sure that you take photos while keeping the device locked. In this way, even if you drop your phone, your data will be saved, and no one will be able to access your data.
Encrypt your Android Smartphone
No matter how much secure your Android smartphone is, things can always go north, and it’s a nice idea to have the data in encrypted form, which will make it difficult to get to your data. It will also be very helpful in case you are apprehended by Police as they won’t be able to access your data and used it against you.
Android Smartphones comes with an encrypted phone option, which encrypts the data in your smartphone. Here’s how you can enable encryption on your smartphone.
- Swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the gear-shaped icon to get into the settings.
- In the settings, find Security & Location section.
- Now go to the Advanced section and find “Encryption & Credentials.”
- Here you can tap on Encrypt Phone to enable it.
Now depending on your Android smartphone, the steps might change because many companies use heavy Android Skins. So, the easiest way to find this feature is to use the search bar in the settings. Just type “Encryption,” and you will see Encrypt Phone option in the search results.
Minimize your Digital Footprint
Smartphones serve as our digital assistant, but they can also be used to track your location, which can cause you a lot of trouble, especially if you are attending a protest. It’s an established fact that the Police around the world uses smartphone location history to track down the protest attendees. They use the technique “Stingray attacks,” which basically turns your smartphone into a cell tower, and it collects all the information of cell phones around it.
So, the best way to avoid all of this trouble is to minimize the digital Footprint, and you can easily do it by enabling Airplane Mode. This mode basically turns off your cellphone data and disable WiFi which minimizes your Footprint, and it will also protect you from Stingray attacks.
Use Secure Apps for Communication
When it comes to protests, communication is a key component, but it’s also very important that you choose a secure platform for communication. Most people use WhatsApp, but it’s a fact that these conversations can be tracked. However, there are some apps that can offer a secure communication channel.
For example, if you want a secure end-to-end encrypted app, you can use Signal, which is an open-source app designed for communication. The app also comes with some advanced security features such as disappearing messages which allow you to set limits for each message, and once that limit is up, the message destroys, leaving no trace of anything.
Similarly, if you want to use the internet in a protest, we recommend that you use a reliable VPN service that will encrypt your traffic, making it impossible for any entity to track your activities. If you are interested, here are some reliable VPN Apps for Android which you can consider.
Don’t take your Android Phone to a Protest
Smartphones are surely great when it comes to everyday works, and they also carry our personal data and taking them to a protest exposes you to huge risks. For example, If you lost your device during a protest, there are great chances that your data can be misused if the device is not encrypted. Similarly, authorities can use it to track you down and charge you if your data is on.
So, we strongly recommend that you don’t take your Android smartphone to a protest. However, if you take it, make sure that you follow the above guidelines to avoid any trouble. Also, if Police apprehend you and ask you to unlock your device, don’t do it. If you are from the USA, Remember that you can plead Fifth Amendment, and Police can’t unlock your device if it’s protected by a PIN or Password. However, the Fifth Amendment doesn’t cover Fingerprint or Face Unlock Methods.
Protest is arguably one of the best ways to raise your voice against injustice, and if you are raising your voice, you are definitely a Hero. We hope that you found this guide useful and it will help you protect your smartphone. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments. Also, check this guide to learn How to secure your Android Smartphone from Intruders.