Smartphones have certainly come a long way. From being able to surf the internet and check emails, our smartphones can now do a plethora of other things. These days, the modern man just can't do without his or her smartphone. Many of us put a lot of sensitive data in smartphones. So in the instance that you lose your smartphone or get it stolen, there are more than just contacts and text messages at stake. Your personal data could put you into a risky situation like being a target for malicious parties. Today, we will share to you some simple steps to keep your smartphones (and sensitive data) safe.
5 Simple Ways to Keep Your Smartphones (and Data) Safe
Set a Pin Code/Lockscreen Code and One That Self-Destructs
One of the most basic ways that can help you keep your smartphone safe is to set a password security. Otherwise, once your phone is lost or stolen, you have basically granted unrestricted access to the person that picks it up. On top of losing your expensive gadget, you may have your personal data stolen, unauthorized purchases, or unwanted services being signed up for. These could pile up to more financial damage. So if you haven't set a password security yet, do so as soon as you can. Just be sure to set a password/passcode that isn't easy to guess. So while it's convenient to recall, your "1234" password just won't cut it.
And while we're on the topic of setting a password/passcode, make sure that you enable a self-destruct measure in your phone. Thieves will usually try to guess a smartphones password. To prevent them from going far, enable the feature that will erase all date from your smartphone after several failed attempts. In iOS, just navigate to Settings > General > Passcode Lock > Erase Data. As for Android, you can download an app called Autowipe.
Protect Your Sensitive Data
While placing a password/passcode in your device is a good step in the right direction, these days it's just not enough. By having a feature-packed phone, you are essentially carrying a miniature computer with you that comes with its own often easily removable storage. So the thieves can simply plug the device into a computer or remove the microSD card in order to steal your data. Therefore, it's essential that you protect those sensitive data via encryption. Thankfully, most modern smartphones have various solutions for this matter.
Most smartphone platforms nowadays have software which can encrypt files or folders, which means that before a file can be copied or viewed, a layer of security must be cleared first. This comes in handy for sensitive information like passwords, login details, access to online banks and merchants, and more. These days, most sensitive data can be stored through cloud servers so no physical data can be accessed on the phone itself. So if you have lost your device, you can easily make the necessary modifications to keep your account and data safe.
Disable Settings When Not In Use
Disabling various phone settings like Location Services, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Near Field Communication (NFC), and even your Cellular Data when not it use can considerably strengthen your smartphone's security. Turning off these settings when not in use does not just help you conserve battery life but you are also limiting the doors and windows that can be used by hackers to gain access to your device.
Wireless hotspots and Bluetooth may be great for keeping you connected but these two poses the biggest risks. For example, there is a common wireless networks and hotspots called the “evil twin” attack. The malicious party will setup a wireless connection network that will look like a legit hotspot. When you connect to these malicious networks, you will be asked for passwords, login details, and other sort of information which are usually recorded and may be used to access and steal your accounts. Thankfully, these sorts of attempts are easy to spot. Just steer clear of any request for information that seems shady.
Don't Download Fishy / Shady Applications
There are plenty of shady apps that can cause real harm by stealing your personal data. To avoid these malicious apps, make sure that you only download your apps from official channels like the App Store or the Google Play Store. However, downloading from official channels isn't exactly foolproof, as we have seen many instances when a malicious app has sneakily made its way into the iOS App Store, and more so for Android. One of the most common tricks that can fool you is when an app is described as the "new and improved HD version" of a popular, legitimate. In this case, make sure that you double-check the seller/developer of the app.
Another effective way to verify whether the app is legitimate or not is to check the ratings and comments. If there are comments that the app is fake, then by all means, avoid it. However, you should be wary of apps that has no rating or comments at all as it is a strong indication of a phony app. And before downloading an app, a simple Google search can go a long way.
Don't Lose Your Smartphone
Well, this is pretty much a no-brainer. However, there are instances that bad luck happens. Losing your precious smartphone can be downright devastating. Fortunately, there are ways that can help reduce such occurrences. For example, you can form the habit of keeping your smartphone in the same pocket of your clothes. Once you get used to this, you will feel weird whenever your device is not there. Another good practice is to do a "smartphone check" whenever you leave somewhere. This is especially true when you are leaving a car or especially a cab.
You can also consider investing in a handy-dandy smartphone carrier. They are pretty affordable and available in many stylish colors and makes. Get one that clips on to your clothing or perhaps something that hangs around your neck.
In case you have really lost your smartphone, both iOS and Android have apps that can help you locate your smartphone. At the very least, they can give you the option to wipe out your device's data so you don't fall prey to crimes like identity theft.
These are just some of the most simple ways that can help you keep your smartphones safe. If you don’t exercise security measures yet, you might want to consider doing it now. As the old adage goes, "better be safe than sorry".Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback