A common smartphone user is exposed to hundreds of different threats, ranging from viruses and annoying ads to the theft of passwords and personal data. If someone steals your smartphone, first of all, you need to make sure that no one can use it. Apple ‘Find My iPhone’ or Google ‘Device Manager’ programs are the best when it comes to finding your device. But cheaters can also steal your data or even your personality without even stealing your phone.
Remember that any of your data can be used against you. For example, you may be substituted or blackmailed because of your photos and correspondence. Your conversations can be recorded for the same purpose. I don’t even talk about the data of your bank accounts and how important it is to protect them, but I hope that you already understand: the security of privacy is really important.
How to increase the security of your phone
With or without having your phone in their hands, another person can steal your personal information easily. How can this happen? Unfortunately, it can occur very easily: the apps on your phone can spread your data on a public network. Hackers can attack your phone using public Wi-Fi networks, or you can just accidentally leave your phone on a party, and a stranger who picks it up will know everything about you.
As a rule, users see a big difference between their computer and their phone: they care about protecting their PC or laptop, but they don’t worry that someone can attack their smartphone, so they don’t see any danger.
Smartphone protection involves taking into account the enormous amount of subtleties and nuances. Monitoring, viruses, wiretapping can lead to the fact that the attacker will receive your confidential information at his disposal, and it can end up with serious consequences. To protect yourself and your data from the illegal hacking, you need to pay attention to the main points concerning the safety of the smartphone from scammers.
To stay safe, follow these 7 basic rules:
- Stay away from public Wi-Fi networks;
- Do not download apps from unofficial sources;
- Avoid applications that require access to your personal information;
- Don’t tap on suspicious links and ban spam content;
- Keep your apps up-to-date;
- Install anti-theft software;
- Encrypt private data in the cloud.
Now, let’s consider them more detailed.
Stay away from public Wi-Fi networks
Use only reliable Wi-Fi networks. Today’s wireless Internet access system is one of those places where you can catch a very unpleasant or even invisible virus. Avoid public Wi-Fi points, and clean the list of memorized networks regularly. It is also recommended to disable the forced tracking of wireless networks.
Do not download apps from unofficial sources
It may sound like an obvious thing, but I think you need a reminder for that. Scammers know that good visual design can give anything a reliable source. Of course, if the program forces you to allow access to your SMS messages or settings, this is suspicious and should be removed.
Therefore, I recommend you to install software from the official Google Play, or App Store markets. Also, don’t forget to check reviews before downloading. When installing the app, always read the permissions that the app asks for.
Avoid applications that require access to your personal information
If you are using Google Maps, most likely you have your home and work addresses locations saved. Erase this information, so those who find or hack your phone will not be able to find the addresses. There are also dozens of apps that require access to your microphone or camera, but they don’t use it when you launch them. Pay attention to the reason why the app asks for permission to use these options. Search for answers on the Internet or just delete them, because these could be spy apps.
We often download the application and, without looking, agree to provide access to all data. Users really spit on their security in this matter. If you do not agree to read and disassemble all permissions every time, once a month you should go through the installed applications and make sure that the application has only those permissions to which you agree.
Don’t tap on suspicious links and ban spam content
Be careful when reading messages from unknown contacts. You can also receive suspicious emails with strange tap-on links, that may seem unoffending, but usually, these links are viruses. The hackers can get all your personal information after you tap on the link. It is better to ignore messages like that or even ban them.
Keep your apps up-to-date
Updating doesn’t really take much time. Moreover, usually, your smartphone does it essentially. Just make sure you allowed the ‘automatic updating’ option in the settings option. How can updating keep your phone safe? Regular updates improve the security of your smartphone and help to protect your personal information. Hackers can use the design of outdated apps, and as a result, they can hack your phone and steal your personal information, photos, and other data.
Install anti-theft software
These three applications will help protect data on your device.
Adblock Browser is a mobile browser with a built-in ad blocker. Unfortunately, in this app, the Internet connection works slower, the traffic increases, and the battery discharges 20% faster. But this is not the worst thing that can happen. The browser protects your phone from unwanted ads and spam that can attack your device.
Micro Guard FREE
Micro Guard FREE does not allow anyone to listen to your conversations. The service detects programs and applications that are trying to access the microphone and warns the user with a special signal.
Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know that intelligence agencies can connect to absolutely any telephone in the world, whoever its owner is. Therefore, even the director of the FBI uses the application against wiretapping.
Camera Blocker is a spyware and virus camera blocker. As a rule, every second installed application requests access to the camera, creating a vulnerable portal for transferring photo and video data to the Internet. The service blocks any unauthorized access to the camera. What is cool about this app is that the application itself does not require such permission.
Encrypt private data in the cloud
If you use cloud service applications like Dropbox, where you can send and get private info or any other important data, be sure to use encryption. You do not have to encrypt everything, only personal information that can be used. For example, tax returns or document scans. On Android, you can also encrypt information on your phone, although this will slow down the device a little.
How to protect your phone offline
First of all, you need to set a password to lock the phone. It is recommended to make it long and difficult so that a thief could not pick up the code. If the device was stolen, don’t hesitate to erase your data as soon as possible. On iOS phones, it is possible to erase all data remotely if the iPhone was stolen. There is also a “Find My iPhone” option, which allows you to track the geolocation of the device. You can do all this from your computer if you go to icloud.com.
In Android, there is an Android Device Manager that allows you to control your phone using the special site. It performs similar functions, like the iOS ‘Find My iPhone’ does.
The total mobile safety summary
Even if your smartphone is perfectly protected with antivirus, passwords and two-factor authentication, no one, unfortunately, will not guarantee that it will not be stolen or that you will not lose it. However, you can be prepared for such a scenario. Modern technologies and specialized applications allow you to find and return the gadget as soon as possible, or at least, to make sure that your personal information
Mobile apps differ by their functionality. Some of them help to track the gadget, while others allow you to control the device remotely. At the same time, all services are useful tools in a data-saving battle.
It is important to follow these 7 main tips to defend yourself and your gadget from personal information leakage. So don’t hesitate to check and perform them in order to be sure that you’re safe.
Do you know more methods to stay safe online and offline? Share your tips in the comments section below!