Our mobile phones and portable devices reveal a lot about us. If it were to fall into the wrong hands, someone could see the most personal things. From our saved favorites and bookmarks on web pages, to the emails we send/receive, and even the apps we use! This small, but vulnerable, piece of technology knows everything that makes us who we are. Interestingly, we have stopped trusting our family and friends with this personal stuff and started trusting the mobile phones. Although this goes without saying, I would caution how much trust we put on these devices. The simple fact is, most of us do not even have our phones password-protected because of the inconvenience and time it takes to unlock the screen. As more function and updates become available on our devices, we must ensure we protect its privacy and security. How do we do it? Let’s find out!
1. Use an Anti-Virus Software
Viruses and malware are the biggest threats in the digital age. They not only give you a hard time working on your gadgets including mobile phones, they also lead to loss of personal information. A modern day virus program is written in a way that it not only destroys the data on your phone but it can leak your important personal stuff like social security number, credit card information, browsing history and your photos to name a few. Thus, installing an Antivirus is not only recommended, but an utmost necessity.
2. Remote Wiping and Anti-Theft
In the case of mobile phone theft, the first thing that you should be doing is remotely locking your phone and wiping its memory to prevent loss of information. The latest phones have this feature built into them from the factories and if you haven’t explored it yet, you should probably look into it. This feature allows you to access your phone remotely through the internet, wipe all the data on it and then lock itself on its own with a hard-to-crack password. While this may not help you with getting back the phone, it can surely help you erase your private data.
3. Preventing Unauthorized Access
Your phone cannot be near you all the time. There are situations when you have to give up your phone and stay away from it. However, this is no reason why your privacy should not be guarded. The best solution in such times is to install an app locker and password-protect your media files and applications. An app locker is a simple application that provides a means to lock your personal stuff and prevent unauthorized access to these things. A next generation app locker like Hexlock goes a step further and gives you many settings and options to safeguard yourself. Fingerprint unlocking, Uninstall prevention, and Parental controls are just a few of the benefits these types of programs can offer.
4. Install Only Trusted Apps
Most of the mobile users do not realize the fact that apps are the new method of data theft. While the official marketplaces like iTunes and Play Store ensure that no malicious or dirty, tricky apps go live on their marketplace, not every source of apps is this secure. Most of the marketplaces or websites do not even care about your security, leave alone implementing it. Thus, staying away from untrusted sources and reading the reviews before installing any application or game is highly important. Any app that asks for the access to your bank account or credit card should always be on your security radar. Another thing that you should note is the app permissions box. This pops up just before you install any app. If you see unnecessary permissions, deselect it!
5. Secure Your Network
If avoidable, never ever connect to a public network or an open Wi-Fi because once connected, you can be an easy victim. Even if you connect, refrain from making any money related transactions or logging into bank accounts. Doing so might compromise your banking details and eventually give you a financial blow. While using a VPN could protect you and secure your data being sent, I do not feel confident over a public network especially if the VPN service (software) is open/free. Encrypting your data is very important nonetheless!
Featured photo credit: Jae Park via unsplash.com