How to make stock android more private?

Bit of background: I am not very techy at all, and no one in my life is interested in this sort of thing either so I’m working on my own. I’m not looking for a completely hardened and super private life, just something that claws back the data Google and other corps have collected from me in the last 20 odd years.

I recently swapped from an iPhone to a Fairphone 4 for ethical reasons, and originally I thought I’d install CalyxOS but after reading through the instructions I feel nowhere near confident enough to install it without bricking my phone so I’m sticking to stock android for now.

But I’ve been going around and around in circles trying to decide the best way to set up my new Fairphone 4.

I was originally thinking I’d set it up without signing into Google Play and download everything from FDroid and Aurora, but I don’t feel comfortable downloading my banking apps from these and mobile banking is pretty essential to me.

I’m trying to work out the best balance between a stock android phone and a good level of privacy (e.g. using Proton mail, Brave, VPN, etc.)

Does anyone else on stock/similar situation have advise?


Maybe you could create a work profile with an app like Shelter, sign in to Google Play inside that work profile to install banking apps there, and then just use Aurora/F-Droid for all your other apps in your personal profile?


I keep a phone just to use for google accounts. Two reasons, I discover something that I have not addressed. To prevent someone signing up on those accounts.
I connect this device only on a VPN. I use NetGuard to lock everything down until I intend to use it.
My mobile banking is accessed via a browser on my Pixel running CalyxOS.
My number one suggestion and hear me out it is probably easier. Install CalyxOS.
Go slow and ask for some advice here. There is a lot you can work through with confidence with out ever bricking your phone. By the time you get all the way to hitting that magic button you will fill confident.

1 Like

I don’t think banking apps work well w/ CalyxOS.

You can try to check here:

It’s for Graphene OS, but it could give you at least some idea.

I should note, the Aurora Store, gets the app (apk) directly from the Google Play Store. They’ve just reverse engineered how the store works.

That being said, like Jonah mentioned, you should be able to create a second profile for Google linked apps. Not as good as Graphine/Calyx, but I don’t think you’ll be sacrificing much.

Should note, Techlore has Plexus. It’s an app directory, that should give details on whether or not it’ll run on Graphine/Calyx.

As an example. My banking app requires Google, but will run under MicroG.

1 Like

That’s true, but in the PrivSecDev list there are also less known banking apps.

I’m an iPhone user but Henry made a video on this. Zone 1/2 May be useful for you:

Techlore Android Privacy

1 Like

Banking apps are a hit and miss for me and it is frustrating to be honest. I just use Pixel Experience (SafetyNet passes out of the box) on another android for banking. I don’t even use microg on my daily driver these days as I have no use for google services apparently.

Honestly speaking, there is no such thing as a private stock android.
You can disable all preinstalled apps and turn on all privacy settings and that won’t make zero difference.
The settings are there to give you a feeling of having control, guess what, you don’t have any control.

You don’t need to be a techy at all to install a custom rom.
All you need to do is follow the install instructions step by step.
Be that on a website or on youtube or both.

Buying a fairphone for ethical reasons is a joke, fairphone has their parts shipped from china. Look it up.

You can flash calyxos, there is no reason to worry. The worst that can happen is to soft-brick your phone, meaning it will be stuck on boot or something similar, that’s easy to fix by simply re-flashing the stock firmware.

Banking apps on your personal device is nonsense, don’t give your bank permissions to infiltrate your personal device… call your bank and tell them you want a card-tan device, they will send it to you.
You put your card in that device and get a verification code, use that for online banking.

So, it will make a difference then …

Source. Please and thank you.

Everyone’s privacy journey is different, everyone’s threat model is different. I understand your frustration, that people don’t care, believe me, but this nihilistic, dismissive approach doesn’t really help anyone, to be honest.

1 Like

pfff you know exactly how i ment that statement dont play dumb thanks.

if you really are desperate for a source find it.
by far not a secret that stock android from google is extremly privacy invasive no matter what you do.
navigate to device admin apps and disable find my mobile, it will reactivate itself after few days.
delete preinstalled facebook too. oh right, you cant because the options is greyed out.
takes a genious to relize stock rom is utter garbage.

This is not how it works.

Again. Source. It’s true that sometimes this happens (reactivation of the things you disabled), but so far I saw it only in iOS after update.

AFAIK on stock (AOSP) Android there is no Facebook, the same is for Pixel phones. Even if you cannot remove it normally, you can disable it. And there is always an ADB. I admit it’s not for a normal user.

Depends on who you ask. People have different needs which is why the one size fits all approach doesn’t work.

Again, it depends on who you ask.

That video is complete nonsense.
“im leaving custom roms and going back to google” nothing but bs.

If you say it is complete BS, say why you think it is!

1 Like

Can you speak constructively and not respond with a “It’s complete BS”. Please be civil.

Since this is supposed to be a constructive place of discussion, most people are searching for valid arguments and reasons for why you think it is BS to further discuss it. That’s generally how forums are designed, specifically this one - this isn’t Twitter.


That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.

Thank you for your input, tho.