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5 Ways to Secure Data on Your Phone

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5 Ways to Secure Data on Your Phone

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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