SECURE: Advanced Pixel 4a Security config for 2021

Last updated
Mar 2, 2021
Brand
Google
Model/Series
Pixel 4a
Mobile OS
Android
Mobile OS version
11
Mobile system updates
Manual - check for updates, but do not install system updates
Mobile app updates
Manual - do not update any apps
Special app access
Limited access - some apps are allowed to install unknown apps - see below for details
Allowed unknown apps
Files app by Google
Play Protect settings
Automatic - allow periodic scans to protect against potentially harmful apps
Real-time security apps
None
Authenticator apps
Microsoft Authenticator
Autofill & Password apps
Bitwarden
Find my phone
Managed by the operating system
About
My primary device
SIM PIN security
SIM card is unlocked
Screen lock settings
PIN
Biometric lock settings
  1. Fingerprint or TouchID
Sharing visibility
Off or Hidden - block all incoming files
Browser apps
Firefox
Content filtering apps
uBlock origin, Google DNS/cloudflare/NextDNS/default ISP DNS depending on ping rate on day to day basis.
Phone & Caller ID apps
Google Phone
Messaging apps
Google Messages, Signal, Threema
Music & Podcasts apps
Youtube Music Premium, Musicolet
Video & Livestream apps
Youtube Premium
Gaming apps
None
Other apps
SD Maid Pro, Google Recorder, MS Auth
DNS
Cloudflare, nextdns and google dns.
VPN
None
PC maintenance
SD Maid Pro, Files App
Personal Files & Photos backup
Google Drive, Google One (3 months trial), Near unlimited Google Photos backup till device EOL.
Personal backup routine
Automatic (scheduled)
Personal changelog
March 2021 SP/MR updates.
Feedback Response

General feedback

Vasudev

Level 31
Verified
Nov 8, 2014
2,066
For maximum security and privacy you can flash GrapheneOS

also why software updates on manual, no SIM Pin and unknown apps allowed?
Once warranty is expired, I'm really itching for paranoid Android w/o GMS. You suggested Pixel phone and I wasn't wrong Pixel is better. Likewise, GrapheneOS will be next option. For now, I have too much dependency on GMS apps.
I forget SIM Pin and it's a pain. Updates are manual since I don't like being the first guy to get updates and find the device is broken so in my experience I'd wait for atleast 4-5 days and once deemed stable I'll update it otherwise I'll skip it.
Unknown apps are allowed on Files App since I test development apks sometimes.
 

Spawn

Administrator
Verified
Staff member
Jan 8, 2011
20,860
Once warranty is expired, I'm really itching for paranoid Android w/o GMS. For now, I have too much dependency on GMS apps.
At the end of the day, you could use the most secure and privacy-abiding OS, but in reality it's the apps you use that truly affect your privacy.

If you did, you would need to sacrifice your social circles by abandoning Facebook (Instagram, WhatsApp), Google (YouTube, Stadia), Amazon (Twitch, Prime) apps, services and subscriptions.

Might as well keep using Android for the time being.
 

Vasudev

Level 31
Verified
Nov 8, 2014
2,066
At the end of the day, you could use the most secure and privacy-abiding OS, but in reality it's the apps you use that truly affect your privacy.

If you did, you would need to sacrifice your social circles by abandoning Facebook (Instagram, WhatsApp), Google (YouTube, Stadia), Amazon (Twitch, Prime) apps, services and subscriptions.

Might as well keep using Android for the time being.
Currently, use whatsapp, maps, youtube, google message rcs, google pay all which doesn't work w/o gms.
 
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