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What can I do to protect my devices?

Learn about device safety and why timely software updates are needed to address security vulnerabilities. See why you should only install apps from trusted sources, and how you can conduct a comprehensive security assessment.

To learn more about how you can keep yourself safe while on the Internet, visit: internet-safety.khanacademy.org.
Created by Sal Khan.

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Video transcript

- Mark, I'm pretty convinced that I need to protect my devices from other folks. How should I think about that? How does one protect their device? - Yeah. The first piece is really taking what the manufacturers and the companies behind them are giving you. So, when you receive this notice that, you know, your phone is ready to get a security update or ready to get a patch, it's really important to do that ASAP. The reason is that, once that alert shows up, the attackers basically know about a vulnerability. So it's kind of like if somebody says, you know, on allowed speaker, "Hey, your front door is unlocked." Like, the longer you wait, the more chance for someone to come in. So, I know it can be annoying, you're in the middle of a meeting, you're running for a taxi, what have you, but the sooner that you do that, the better you are protected. On Google devices, on Android phones, on our pixel phones, we push these out and try to make it so it's as easy as possible. So there are very few steps, very few things for you to worry about. It will take a few minutes, it will use some wifi data, but that's probably the first and best recommendation I'd give. - That's a really interesting point because I think all of us, sometimes whatever device we're using from whichever manufacturer, they always say, oh, would you like to update? You know, and all this. And we're like, oh, I'm busy. I don't wanna restart things, et cetera, et cetera. But to your point, it's not just about, oh, there's been some shady behavior that's already occurred and this protects you, but it's a big beacon to say, hey, in case you didn't notice shady folks, these are ways that you might. So that's a really good time to update. What other things should I watch out for? - One of them is to only install apps from trusted sources. So, on your iPhone, it comes from the App Store, on your Google Android phone, it comes from the Play Store. We test these on a continuous basis. The Google Play Protect scans billions of applications and is continually updating to ensure that you're only getting things that have been vetted and that have gone through scanning. But if you're trying to get something for nothing, or, you know, often is the case, your kids are trying to get something for nothing and they find a free version of a game that's in some, you know, dodgy corner of the web, this is kind of like going down a dark alley and, you know, buying stuff from somebody with a trench coat on. You get what you pay for and what that might include is viruses, malware, and hacking threats. - No, no, I agree so much with that because sometimes I've looked for like, even a patch from a well known, you know, from some piece of software that comes. And I do it and some of these shady actors actually have search results that are pretty high that they might be a paid ad or something like that. And I'm not sure whether they're necessarily but you realize that the person claiming to provide a patch for a certain piece of software isn't necessarily the publisher of that software. So I'm not saying necessarily that those are good or bad actors, but it is vary to your point, be extra careful you're installing anything on a any kind of device who it's coming from. - We built something at Google called the Security Checkup really designed to be this one stop shop for all your devices, everything you've got connected to your account. So there's a simple link g.co/security checkup. And what that does is it runs through is your device protected against local threats, you know, somebody grabbing it and just, you know , surfing your data, is it protected against online hacking, are you up to date with patches and security issues, are you installing, you know, apps from safe locations. Basically all the tips that I would give somebody bundled together into this one stop shop, g.co/security checkup.