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Root Suggestions to improve the security (read: PRIVACY) of Android phones?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by bondbeau, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. bondbeau

    bondbeau Lurker
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    Yep, I did it!

    Started with an unlocked, rooted, S-OFF Evo V according to ramjet73's excellent "Quick and Dirty" guide.

    Then, flashed my first ROM, Harmonia, as that is supposed to be the easiest to do all of the "Fix everything" steps herein.

    Flashed all of the updates one by one, and did the QPST PRL update as well (was hoping it would improve my very poor home reception at least a bit, but no such luck).

    All together, as very much a neophyte, it took me MANY MANY hours of reading and questions to get to this point. I wanted to avoid any errors/problems, and luckily that was the case. As far as I can tell so far, everything works perfectly.

    I think I'd like to "hold' here for now for the most part...whew!!!

    Now I have two unrelated questions please:

    1. What methods do Evo 3D users (either Virgin or Sprint models) use to improve the battery life. I have Juice Defender (regular and plus) from previously on my Optimus V, so have installed that for the time being. And I would be willing to 'entertain' the idea of switching kernels or whatever it is that works best, but my primary goal is STABILITY, and cannot continue to invest so many hours as I have so far you know? All I'm really looking to accomplish is one full day between charging with low/moderate use, i.e. anything like using GPS would be while plugged to charger.

    2. Can someone please point me to threads/sites that offer explicit steps and suggestions to improving the security (read: PRIVACY) of Android phones. When I purchased this Andoid-based device, I only did so because I felt it was currently the best choice of phone OS...NOT because I think Google (and many others) isn't sucking the life out of any concept of genuine privacy. Just being signed in with any Google product apparently gives them wholesale permission to track every click for any purpose these days. Would've MUCH rather had a Firefox OS using HTML 5 instead of all these obscure app permissions also, but it's not ready yet (hoping the Evo will get it when it does come out).

    But anyway, please, what is available to improve the privacy of these devices, so one is not tracked everywhere they go or whatever they do?

    Leslie Ann, and all the rest...I don't want to follow in your developer/hacking footsteps in the slightest. But I do immensely appreciate your dedication and talent. Thanks so much!!!
     

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  2. ramjet73

    ramjet73 Android Expert
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    It's not going to be easy but you can start here and here.

    ramjet73
     
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  3. bondbeau

    bondbeau Lurker
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    I'll definitely check out your suggestions Ramjet...as presumably you use Addons Detector and Android Security Test yourself?

    And I'm wondering, would there be any kind of privacy advantage to creating/using a different Google Play account (with no personal info. attached to it) to download any apps, as this might enforce at least some separation between one's own identity (personal Gmail account, contacts, etc.) and that 'dummy' additional Gmail account?

    Jut trying to explore any reasonable way to keep at least some personal info. segregated into separate databases, so no one company can put ALL the puzzle pieces together at the same time...and then as we've so often seen, to lose, sell or give the whole picture away to any other company, thief, and/or government (often they're all the same characters) that wants it you know?

     
  4. ramjet73

    ramjet73 Android Expert
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    You could certainly keep separate Google accounts, but at some point you either lose the benefit of Google services integration or risk some privacy. Yahoo and Hotmail both have Android mail clients, and you can use third party apps for SMS and MMS messaging, but are those any better for privacy than the Google apps? A lot of people use GO SMS Pro, but I read somewhere (unconfirmed as yet) it sends all MMS messages through their servers, and some people believe they are stored in the process.

    If you use Addons Detector for a while you will see that most Android apps use toolkits to present ads and/or share information, even if they are paid. Cell phone privacy guide (Android) - Encrypt Everything is a page with some recommendations for Android privacy and as the name implies a lot of them involve encryption and using alternative email, browser, and messaging apps.

    There's no doubt that an Android phone can be made a lot more secure than it is using the suite of Google products, but you lose a lot of functionality and integration in the process. I don't really know if an iOS or WP8 device is any more private or secure if used as designed, so you may need to integrate your own suite of apps to avoid privacy issues regardless of the operating system and standard apps.

    As I said in my previous post, it won't be easy and with any type of security you need to evaluate the risk against the effort (or cost).

    Further discussion should probably be moved to a new thread since it's pretty far off topic from the "Fix everything by turning your phone into an Evo 3d" purpose of this one. ;)

    ramjet73
     
  5. bondbeau

    bondbeau Lurker
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    All very valuable input Ramjet...much appreciated in all respects.

    And agreed, the topic is too far from this 'Fix Everything'...

    Maybe Leslie Ann might listen in and decide to add to her very fine work with an Android ROM designed/maintained around user privacy?

    :)

     
  6. miked6875

    miked6875 Well-Known Member
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    Ramjet you have been very informative. Thankyou. Do you think any of the adblockers help any? I've been using adfree for a while now. Thank's again.
     
  7. Brian706

    Brian706 I like turtles!
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    As this conversation keeps continuing, I've moved it into it's own thread as to keep the other thread on-topic! Carry on ;)
     
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  8. ramjet73

    ramjet73 Android Expert
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    As I said in the previous post someone should probably start a security/privacy thread so we don't hijack Leslie Ann's, but to answer your question AdFree works fine but my preference is Adaway since it is open source and I've had problems with AdFree versions expiring and having to wait for the update. Here's a post with a comparison of the two apps.

    ramjet73
     
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  9. youngSWi

    youngSWi Well-Known Member
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    midnight senseless has the best battery life I found when underclocked to about 700mhz cpu0 and 400mhz cpu1. Lasts all day and fairly responsive. His latest versions have logging software removed from HTC, but doesn't do much for privacy.
     
  10. bondbeau

    bondbeau Lurker
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    Thank you for your recommendation Young...much appreciated!

    Since you have experience with Midnight Senseless, is there anything you've found to not work at all on the Evo 3D (or not work properly) as compared to the stock ROM?

    And, I'm a little confused as to exactly what "Sense" is...in how it differs from the end-user perspective (at least in my inexperienced case)?

    If Sense is something I'd never miss, and there is nothing 'broken' on the phone...AND...gives me some help toward a decent day's battery life, then I'm quite interested!

     
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