Do you take good care of your smartphone? You might have invested in a robust case and screen protector to protect it from falls and dirt, but your device is vulnerable in other ways too. Text scams, for example, have increased in the past year – with victims losing £3.4m between June 2020 and January 2021 to fake parcel delivery texts.
Smartphone hacking can lead to a variety of negative outcomes as well as financial loss, including stolen personal data and reduced battery life – other tell-tale signs of hacking range from unknown pop ups to malfunctioning apps and increased data usage.
Thankfully there are effective ways you can protect your smartphone from intruders, five of which we’ve highlighted below.
Update Your OS and Apps
Operating system updates and app updates can seem annoying to complete, especially when you don’t notice any real difference afterward. But many updates are released to strengthen security and guard your phone against new hacking tactics.
You could make the process easier by setting up automatic install to complete updates automatically in the background.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Free public Wi-Fi is often used by cafés, transport hubs, and other venues as a selling point to attract visitors. However, connecting to it opens your phone up to hackers, so it’s generally best to avoid doing so.
It’s wise to disable Bluetooth connectivity while you’re out and about, too, unless you’re using a smartwatch or headphones that require it.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
You may have heard of VPNs in relation to computers and laptops. VPNs add an extra layer of security to your internet connection by masking your location – and it’s possible to protect your iPhone with a tailored iOS VPN too.
VPNs also allow you to access content that’s restricted by region and boost your streaming options.
Strengthen Your Passwords
You might be tired of being reminded to create strong, unique passwords – but the truth is they work. Your app and account passwords should ideally be over ten characters long and contain a mix of lower- and upper-case letters, numbers, and symbols.
Try a secure password generator online if in doubt.
Stay Wary of Scammers
Text and email, in particular, offer easy ways into your phone for hackers. Avoid clicking on links in promotional messages, and always access your financial accounts directly.
Common signs of fraud include incorrect email or phone contact details, spelling errors, and data requests.
Smartphone security is worth taking seriously – factor in the five tips above to keep your device safe and sound.