7 Best Practices for Ensuring Smartphone Security
A large majority of people live on their smartphone these days. We use them for socializing, shopping, banking, browsing and more. For ease of use, it has become the norm to stay logged in to your accounts on your smartphone, but there is also a downside; essentially, anyone who has access to your smartphone can access your whole life. The worst case scenario is that if your phone gets stolen or lost, it can lead to theft, both monetary and identity. Someone can also hack your phone and access your information via the webpages you have visited and again lead to losses for you.
It is always better to be safe than sorry and how can you do that? It is quite simple as you just have to know these best practices that can help in ensuring smartphone security and implement them right away:
Use a screen lock
This is pretty basic and something you can find in every smartphone. A pattern lock, i.e. a personalized pattern, shape, or PIN code is used on the screen for accessing a phone. Make sure that it’s difficult so people cannot predict them easily and unlock your phone. In addition, if you are using a fingerprint sensor, you should keep your phone’s screen cleaned as finger traces can be used.
Protect your sensitive data
While password locks and PIN entry are always useful, you should bear in mind that smartphones are basically miniature computers with mostly easily removable storage. Data can be easily retrieved by removing the microSD card or just plugging the device into a computer. Data that you save to internal storage needs to be protected and you can accomplish this by using software that can encrypt files and folders. This kind of software only allows access to data when a code is entered.
Be cautious when downloading applications
There has been a rise in malware attacks recently, especially in smartphones, as they are great for gaining access to confidential and sensitive data. This means that smartphone users have to be extra cautious when they are downloading applications because that’s mostly how malware gets into your device. When you are installing an app, don’t just ignore the permissions and requirements it is asking you to give, particularly when it is not well-known. You should know exactly what the app will access or else your data might be used for inappropriate purposes.
When you access a web browser on your smartphone, you should be very careful because it is incredibly easy to accept messages that pop up. For instance, you might decide to save your password and other information as it leads to easier access later on, that can, unfortunately, provide others a way to copy your data. Always use reliable and safe websites and never enter your information on new or unknown websites, especially when they are asking for sensitive information like your credit card or bank details.
Install an antivirus app
Just like the capabilities of a smartphone resemble that of a personal computer, some of the safety measures you can use on the latter can also work for the former. Smartphones are vulnerable to malware links or attachments, infected apps, and unknown websites that can exploit the weaknesses in the phone’s security and compromise your information. Antivirus software is used on PCs for countering these issues, but for phones there are antivirus apps that can be installed. A yearly subscription has to be paid and your device will be protected from any such threats. SecurityZap lists some of the best antivirus apps for smartphones.
There is a concern for security in any device that can be used for sending data across the airwaves. When you are not using your wireless connection, you should keep it switched off. This can ensure that no one else can connect to your device without your permission or knowledge. You should also check your device’s network settings as they might be configured to connect to a network automatically when in range and may not ask for permission. In addition, your home wireless router should also be protected through a password or security code.
Turn off geotagging
The social networking apps that we use on our smartphones these days upload pictures to the internet directly. The problem is that location tags are embedded in photos by most phones, which are also called geotags. This simply means that anyone looking at your photos can determine where you were or are at a particular time and this can be regarded as an invasion of privacy. Therefore, you should turn off the geotagging feature if you don’t want others to know where you are or where you might be at a certain time.
Follow these tips and you can keep your phone safe and secure.