Smartphone Security: Must-Know Tips And Tricks
Our phones have become one of our most prized possessions. From storing personal details to client data, travel itineraries, concert tickets, banking apps, and more, we use these devices every day, multiple times a day, to complete various tasks.
Table of Contents:
- 1. Use a Passcode
- 2. Choose a Strong Passcode
- 3. Only Download Reputable Applications
- 4. Ensure the WiFi you are Connecting to is Secure
- 5. Ensure your Device’s OS is Up-to-Date
- 6. Sign Up To ‘Find my Phone’
- 7. Enable Remote Wiping of Your Device
- 8. Install Anti-Virus Software on Your Device
- 9. Always Log Out
- The Bottom Line
The sheer fact these devices contain more data than ever is just one of the reasons we should be taking smartphone security extremely seriously, mainly because mobile security threats are on the rise.
Here, we have listed a handful of must-know tips and tricks designed to protect your phone and everything stored on it.
1. Use a Passcode
This may sound straightforward, but many people don’t have a passcode. If you accidentally leave your phone unattended or lose it, a passcode will prevent anyone who finds your device from accessing your phone’s contents.
The majority of phones allow users to set up a passcode, face recognition, or fingerprint ID. When setting up the phone, you’re prompted to set this function up, which takes only minutes. You can even determine how long you want the smartphone idle before the lock screen is enabled.
If you haven’t enabled this security feature when setting up your device, now is the time to do so! Another way to shield your phone or laptop? Invest in phone or MacBook cases - both prevent wandering eyes from viewing confidential information.
2. Choose a Strong Passcode
If your phone doesn’t have face recognition software, you must choose a strong passcode and one that most people won’t guess. The same goes for the password associated with banking apps, booking sites, or email accounts on your phone.
3. Only Download Reputable Applications
With so many apps on the market today, it’s challenging to know which are reputable and which are not. With this in mind, it’s imperative to only download apps from certified app stores, including Apple and Google. Why? Because they test every app before it’s placed on the App or Play Store.
For further confirmation, the apps you download are safe; always read the reviews. This will prevent you from downloading applications created by cyber criminals, whose main aim is to steal personal information.
4. Ensure the WiFi you are Connecting to is Secure
Whether at the airport, in a mall, cinema, or a cafe, ensuring the WiFi you are connecting to is trusted is important. Open networks are less secure, so it's therefore a good idea to only connect to WiFi that requires a password or boasts a central login.
When using public WiFi, you can increase your safety by connecting to a VPN. Doing so will ensure any confidential data on your mobile, iPad, or laptop is encrypted. This means both your information and location are hidden from prying eyes.
5. Ensure your Device’s OS is Up-to-Date
Mobile phone software system updates are in place to improve your experience and your security. Keeping your device’s OS up-to-date will heighten your smartphone’s security, protecting your data from being leaked to any recently discovered threats.
Unsure of whether you’re using the latest software? Simply go to the ‘General’ or ‘About Phone’ section and click ‘Software Updates’ or ‘System Updates’.
6. Sign Up To ‘Find my Phone’
Applications, including ‘Find my Phone,’ are a great tool to have in place. If you misplace your phone or your device is stolen, they allow you to disable and locate it remotely and report its whereabouts to Apple.
Once the device is located, you will receive an encrypted, anonymous notification. All you need to know is your Apple ID.
7. Enable Remote Wiping of Your Device
If you misplace your phone or it has been stolen, you can easily clear any personal data remotely. This is particularly important for those using their phone for business purposes and storing client data on their devices. Just be sure to back up all data to the Cloud.
8. Install Anti-Virus Software on Your Device
At one time, mobile phones were used to merely call and text people. They are now as powerful as PCs and do a whole lot more! With this in mind, Windows, Android, and Apple have released several cell phone security apps - all designed to keep your mobile data safe.
On top of this, such software protects your device from malware files, which can be put in place if you accidentally visit a suspicious site or download a fake app.
9. Always Log Out
If logging onto a banking app, a shopping platform, email, or social media, it’s important to always log out when you’ve finished browsing. This is particularly important if using a web browser instead of an app. It only takes a second for someone to make a bank transfer or purchase an item using your account.
The Bottom Line
Gone are the days of using cell phones to text and call. These popular tech-savvy devices are now used to conduct an array of important tasks for personal and business use. Some of the latest smartphones are on par with computers.
Whether ordering a new outfit, attending to your finances, emailing a client, or chatting to an online GP, our phones have become integrated into our everyday lives. It’s important to ensure they’re secure.
Following the above tips and tricks will safeguard your data, ensuring it doesn’t end up in the hands of cybercriminals.
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