Where can I get a non-smartphone

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If you value privacy when setting up your new smartphone, our overview will help. We have compiled the most important points so that you can keep an eye on everything the first time you switch on. The order may vary for different models.

Before it begins

  • Which Google account do you want to link? Sometimes it is advisable to create a new one, for example if you do not want to be recognized as a user or if a child should use the device.
  • Buy a prepaid card for the Google Play Store if you plan to download payment apps - and don't want to reveal your bank details.

Checklist: set up a new smartphone

Google account

Connect the device to the WiFi. You will be asked to provide a Google Account. Enter your username and password and follow the dialog. This is the point where you have to accept Google's terms and conditions and privacy policy. We explain what rights Google is gaining there in the article What does Google collect about me?

Google services

We recommend deactivating all options first. You can always activate each one later if you want. We explain what data the individual services send to Google and what they are good for in the article How to minimize data transmission to Google.

Payment details

At this point you may not be able to save a credit card, but only a bank account. In that case, skip this point, you can do so later via the Play Store.

Manufacturer account

Many manufacturers ask you here or earlier to create a user account with Samsung, Sony or whoever. Even if it looks like this: You don't have to register there! The advantages that you get from this are limited. The point can always be skipped, even if the button for it is sometimes a bit hidden. However, you must accept the manufacturer's terms and conditions.


If you have finished the first setup dialog and see the start screen, you should go through the device settings once (see the following points). To do this, tap on the gear icon on the home screen. With some devices, some of these points are queried beforehand during configuration, such as the screen lock.


If the option is available, make sure that WLAN is never active in sleep mode. This saves you battery and avoids offline tracking. The setting can be found under

Deactivate NFC

The NFC function is rarely needed, you can always turn it on. Keeping NFC activated permanently costs battery and enables offline tracking. If your device is NFC-capable, you can sometimes find the point under "More> NFC" or under "Connected devices> NFC".

You can find out what is behind the abbreviation NFC in our article Transferring data with NFC.


Viewing SMS and chat messages on the locked device poses a risk to privacy. Bank transfers or logins are also often secured with a code that you receive via SMS. Unauthorized persons should not be able to see such messages on the locked device.

Location and bluetooth

If you use the Corona warning app, which we can absolutely recommend from a data protection point of view, you should leave both permissions activated permanently. Apart from that, however, we recommend that you only activate the location and Bluetooth functions when you need them - this saves the battery.

You can usually activate the function via the quick settings by swiping the screen from top to bottom.

Screen lock

Where you can find the dot on the phone varies depending on the model and Android version. You will see it directly if you enter "screen lock" in the search function of the Settings app. Set up a PIN code or password. The pattern input is considered unsafe.

Unknown sources

Where you can find the dot on the phone varies depending on the model and Android version. You will see it directly if you enter "Unbek" in the search function of the Settings app.

This option should always be deactivated. If you ever install an app from outside the Play Store, don't forget to uncheck the box afterwards.

Google: Activity history

By default, Google stores a lot of information from your device. The most important point is the activity history. We recommend deactivating it. To do this, navigate to Tap Each Point, then move the slider to Paused to stop recording.

There are more functions that Google uses to collect data. We explain how to set this in the article Use Google services in a data-saving manner.

Unnecessary apps

Call up the app list in the device settings. Select the "All apps" view (not: "Show system processes"). Uninstall or disable any apps that you don't want to use. Most apps are not needed, and if in doubt, almost all of them can be reinstalled from the Play Store. If you're not sure what an app is doing, do a quick internet search.

These are the apps you should keep:

  • Google Play Store,
  • Google Play services,
  • Android System WebView,
  • SIM toolkit,
  • Settings.

Install important apps

Install high-quality apps that respect your privacy for the most important functions. Especially for browsers, e-mail, internet searches, messengers.

You can find our recommendations in the article Bloatware: Replacing pre-installed apps.

Restrict access rights

No app should be allowed to access contacts, location, camera, phone and SMS without a plausible reason. You can find the setting under.

How you can display and restrict the access rights of apps is explained in the article Displaying and restricting app rights.

Set syncing with Google

In the standard setting, Google synchronizes a lot of data with the account (not to be confused with the history records, see above). To configure this, navigate to Uncheck the box where you do not want synchronization.

Instructions are here: Stop syncing with your Google account.

Backup and synchronization

There are different solutions for different needs. You retain the most control when you back up your data locally on your computer at home.

You can find our backup focus here.

Theft protection

If your phone is lost, you can use Google's "Find My Device" function to locate it over the Internet. The function is on by default. You can find below

In your Google account at myaccount.google.com you can click "Search smartphone" and see your device on the map. Anyone who has access to your Google account can then also see your location there. So don't forget to secure your Google account well.

We recommend using this function even if Google finds out your location in the event of a location.

Deposit credit

Open the Google Play Store app. Tap on the three lines in the top left and then on If you have a prepaid card, you can enter the code from the card here.

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