When it comes to sensitive information, your smartphone is more valuable than your wallet, keys, and, in some circumstances, your actual computer – but we all have the nagging guilt that we don’t do enough to protect our devices beyond a four-digit passcode.
Your entire data is at risk if you do not protect your Android devices. That’s because your insecure phones and mobile devices can be tracked and information stolen by anyone.
When discussing smartphones, it’s important to distinguish between iOS and Android devices. Android phones, according to experts, are less secure than iOS phones.Those who own smartphone phones need to think about data security actively. If you are one of them, I will guide you towards easy ways that will help you protect and secure your smartphone.
Update your software
Whether you are running iOS, Android or Windows Phone we will always urge you to acquire the latest version of the OS available. This can be a challenge because Android updates take a long time to go through manufacturer and network testing, but it’s well worth it.
Although you may avoid receiving phone update notifications like the plague, doing so can lessen the odds of your phone being hacked.
The longer you wait to update your phone and software, the more exposed your data becomes to malware.
Use a secure lock screen
In this day and age, it seems almost absurd not to have a basic password on your lock screen, even if it is a basic one. One of the first things we recommend is enabling a pass lock in your device’s security settings.
While having even a basic lock has clear advantages, Android’s face lock isn’t the most secure system available. Many Google devices rate the efficiency of each security system so you can make an informed decision.
Pattern unlocks and pins are among of the most secure, but if you can handle the inconvenience, a complete alphanumeric password is usually recommended. Make sure any boxes that indicate “make passwords visible” are unticked as well.
If you want to take it a step further, we recommend changing your pass code frequently in case someone looks over your shoulder and sees what you’ve entered in.
Antivirus software should be installed.
The less-than-humble virus is one of the most serious risks that could result in data leakage. The problem isn’t as pervasive as it is on desktop computers, and if you don’t download questionable software, you’re unlikely to come across anything malicious inside a two-year contract, but there is still a serious threat out there.
Because of Apple’s tight control over the App Store, the situation appears to be less dangerous for iPhones. Because Android is an open source operating system, harmful apps can be sideloaded onto the device without being reviewed by Google. This is something that may be avoided in both circumstances by using mobile antivirus software.
For further security, McAfee, AVG, and Lookout are available on both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store, but be wary of any apps that appear strange.
If you’re truly concerned, go to the manufacturer’s website because most of them will provide a link to their mobile app.
Make use of the kid/guest modes.
Kid modes, as well as guest modes to a lesser extent, are critical. The last thing you want is for your child (or a friend) to be fooling around on your phone and accidentally accessing private information, or for them to call your boss when you’re talking about a job interview.
These are now available on most Android and Windows devices, as well as being downloadable from the App Store on iOS; however, make sure you know how to exit them once your child has done – I’m sure a lot of people have wasted minutes caught in a crocodile game because they forgot the PIN.
Disable apps from untrusted sources and don’t root or jailbreak.
While it’s tempting to download and install apps that aren’t available on the App Store or Google Play Store, these apps are frequently the least safe. Google, Apple, and Microsoft, as well as BlackBerry, keep track of the apps that are available through respective app stores.
This means that apps with malicious code were most likely removed before you installed them.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, rooting your Android phone or jailbreaking your iPhone might be quite harmful. This is because it decompiles your operating system and gives you access to the basic code therein; once you have access, malicious code has a much simpler time changing things.
If you’re more familiar with the world of rooting and jailbreaking, you’ll have taken steps to safeguard your device’s security – so be sure you know what you’re doing before changing your phone.
Apps with lock codes and vaults are useful.
Adding a second layer of security might be very crucial for securing important information and images. If your passcode falls into the wrong hands, all of your information could be compromised.
You may then add another layer of security by securing apps with a second code using another app. Vault apps also help you stay safe by allowing you to save all of the files you wish to keep safe in a dedicated region of your device or on an SD card, as well as wiping the data after failed login attempts.The fingerprint scanner on Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 allows you to hide some aspects of your phone as well. It’s not the most user-friendly function, but it ensures that no one can access the areas you want hidden.
Keep Location settings enabled
This is more about getting your phone back if you lose it than about safeguarding it from being stolen or having your data taken.
The ‘Find my iPhone’ software for iOS is extremely simple to install and use, and a similar method is available for Android.
This does not necessitate the use of an app; simply go to Google Play using a web browser, click the settings wheel, and select Android Device Manager. You can use this page to find, ring, lock, and wipe your device if necessary.
For Windows Phone, go to WindowsPhone.com and log in with your credentials to locate your smartphone on a map, ring it, send a message, or wipe it clean. If you still have a BlackBerry, you can do something similar with the BlackBerry Protect tool. However, this must be set on the BlackBerry device.
Make use of wearable technology.
The ability to detect when you’ve left your phone behind is one of the key capabilities featured in devices like the Sony SmartWatch 2 or the Galaxy Gear 2. When the watch is out of range, the Bluetooth connection is severed, and the watch buzzes to alert you.
If you’re still within range, you can make your phone ring. This is handy for more than just finding your phone when it falls down the back of the sofa; if you know the phone is within reach but not in your pocket, you can make it ring and trace it down.
Set up a SIM lock
If this is vital to you, make sure you’ve locked your SIM in addition to safeguarding your phone.
If you’re on an uncapped contract, a SIM lock (also known as a SIM PIN or SIM Security) is very necessary; if you’re on PAYG, it’s less so. This is because it requires you to enter a PIN when making a call or sending a message, which is essential if you don’t want thieves to rack up large expenses.
It’s not the most efficient method to use your phone, but if you’re in an area where you’re concerned, enable it in your security settings.
Keep sensitive files off your phone
Even better than encrypting your SD card is ensuring that the files never end up on your phone.
Keeping sensitive files on your phone may appear to be a simple task, and given that it is the device you will have with you at all times, it seems natural to do so. You might even want to be able to edit papers while on the go, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.
However, there’s no reason why you need to edit these files on your phone. There’s no need for these sensitive files to ever be on your handset with phones like the HTC One, Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5S being able to support external USB drives via a separate cable or through a wireless USB flash drive – so pick up a USB On The Go flash drive and you’ll be able to have the best of both worlds.
Use caller protection apps.
Burner and Firewall are two apps that safeguard your phone from hackers, annoying salespeople, and unsolicited callers.
Burner protects your personal information by generating fresh phone numbers that can be used for as long as you want before being “burned,” or discarded.Meanwhile, iOS users may utilize Firewall to send unwelcome calls directly to voicemail without ever hearing them ring.
Avoid charging your phone in public ports.
This one may come as a shock, but charging your phone in public charging stations — such as those found in airports, transit stations, airlines, conference centers, and retail malls — can expose you to a security risk.
Use two-factor authentication.
Extra steps may appear annoying, but two-factor authentication is not one of them. This security measure verifies your identification before allowing you to use a specific account, such as your email.
Two-factor authentication that creates a time-sensitive code and sends it to your phone via text message is a typical type. The code is only valid for one time usage, and once entered, you will be able to access your account. It’s a little more work for you, but it makes it far more difficult for a malicious user to gain access to your account.
Turn your bluetooth and Wi-Fi off when not in use.
Hacking bluetooth channels is a typical way for hackers to gain access to your personal information. Bluetooth on iPhones and Androids is frequently turned on by default, which, although saving you a tap of the finger, can also be a safety issue.
Double-check which devices you’re connected to, especially if it’s not your Bluetooth or you’re connecting for the first time.
Encrypt hotspots from being used by other devices.
Hotspots make your life easier by providing Wi-Fi access everywhere you go. However, if they are not safeguarded, they can cause you problems.
Because hotspots allow strangers to access data and files on your phone, tablet, or laptop without your knowledge, be cautious.
Choose a strong encryption, or the method of encrypting a message, for your hotspot to avoid this. The default encryption may be old or insecure.
Select the most secure hotspot encryption, Wireless Protected Access 2, or WPA2, to avoid this. According to LifeWire, WPA2 is the strongest data encryption option, having been introduced in 2006. While internet users nearby may be able to observe traffic on a WPA2 network, it will be secured by the most recent encryption key.
Use a VPN.
Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, allow users to connect to a private network over the internet in a safe manner. They allow users to send and receive data over public or shared networks without it being visible to unauthorized users.
By assigning you a temporary IP address and hiding your genuine IP address from every website or email you connect with, the VPN keeps your data safe and confidential. In essence, they act as a second line of defense between you and hackers.
Store passwords in encrypted files.
The most safe approach to store or maintain important data on your phone is to utilize a password-protected app like LastPass to store it. Even if a hacker obtains vital information, it will be encrypted, making it harder for him or her to gain access.
As hackers continue to use cutting-edge ways to target smartphones, it’s critical to stay current on security best practices.
The following modifications and security best practices will greatly improve smartphone security and privacy, keep you ahead of hackers, and help you safeguard your devices successfully.These tips will not only make smartphone more secure but also keep your device fast and up-to-date.