Technology

Keeping Your Smartphone Safe

Keeping Your Smartphone Safe
Keeping Your Smartphone Safe

Most of us rely on our smartphones quite a lot. We use them for everything fro paying for our morning coffee or the train to work to keeping to-do lists so we don’t forget those important daily tasks. As a result, we store a lot of sensitive information on our phones, and that is why we should all be doing everything we can to keep our phones safe and secure.

With that in mind, here are some simple things you can do to keep your mobile device, safe, secure, and working when you need it to:

Keep it locked

Keeping your phone locked when you aren’t using it is a pretty basic way of keeping it safe from people who would access it and use your information for nefarious purposes. If you were to lose your device or it be stolen from you, it would be far more difficult for criminals to access your ApplePay or whatever if they have to try and get past your passcode or even better, fingerprint, or facial recognition technology to do so. That’s why you absolutely must enable lock screen and set it for the shortest amount of idle time possible. Then, even if you do forget to lock it yourself, it will lock of its own accord pretty fast.

Make sure your password is secure

If you are just using a passcode instead of fingerprint or facial recognition technology to unlock your phone, you’re going to want to ensure that your password is a strong one and that the passwords for any apps you use are similarly strong. Having your password as 1234 or the name of your spouse is a sure-fire way to get hacked should your phone fall into the wrong hands!

Update your OS

Checking for the latest OS or new ios update is vitally important to the security of your phone. Why? Because operating system updates pretty much always include security updates that will iron out any bugs and ensure that your device is as protected from threats, old and new, as it can possibly be. Turn on automatic updates to ensure you never miss one.

Only use secure Wi-Fi

Using your phone to connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network is a really bad idea from a safety and security point of view. Mobile devices can be covertly accessed by other individuals using the same unsecured connection if they know what you are doing, and this could have disastrous results. If you must connect to a public network at a hotel or restaurant, for example, use a VPN that will secure your connection and stop the wrong people accessing your private data.

Be careful what you download

Downloading apps is a daily activity for most of us, so we tend to think very little about doing so, but this could prove to be our downfall because lots of apps are little more than trojan horses to take control of your smartphone or access your information. To avoid this from happening, you should always check that you have downloaded an official app from your phone’s official app store, and ideally check any reviews before doing so too.

Don’t root your phone

Rooting or jailbreaking your phone may seem like a good idea because it will give you more freedom over your device and what you can do with it, however, it will also remove a lot of built-in security measures that could leave your smartphone at high risk of being hacked and your data stolen. It really isn’t worth it.

Encrypt everything

If you’re really serious about keeping the private information stored in your smartphone secure, you may want to think about encrypting the important stuff like your emails, text messages, and so on. Some apps, like Whatsapp, automatically encrypt your data, so using them is an easy way to stay safe, but you can also install software that will enable you to encrypt various aspects of your phone, up to and including details of your contacts. Some operating systems also have an option in the security settings to encrypt your device, so check that out too.

Install protection

Installing anti-virus software is something we almost always think about doing on our laptops and computers, but few of us do the dame with our phones. This is a mistake because smartphone anti-virus software is great at catching, and stopping, threats before they develop further.

Keeping your smartphone safe may seem an impossible task with so many hackers, viruses, and cybersecurity threats around, but as you can see above, taking a few simple measures will make all the difference.

About the author

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Tom Bernes

Tom Bernes is the Editorial Director at The Next Hint Inc.

Prior to joining The Next Hint Inc, Tom had a hand in a number of online and print publications, including InternetNews.com as chief copy editor and Government Technology Magazine as managing editor. He also did a stint in Sydney as group editor of RBI Australia's manufacturing group, which is when he also developed an affinity (a love, really) for cricket.

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