You lock your front door and car to prevent people from snooping in but what about your mobile phone? Smartphones have security risks too… Unfortunately, when it comes to mobile device use, there is no manual that comes with a phone to teach the user mobile security. In addition, the threats are constantly evolving and augmenting. To help you navigate your device in a secure way, we’ve listed 8 easy hacks. Discover them now!
1. Keep your phone locked
One possible threat is losing your device or getting it stolen, which could give the finder complete access to your personal and corporate information. To prevent this from happening, be sure to have a lock on your screen. Strong passwords together with biometric features as fingerprint authenticators make unauthorized access nearly impossible.
2. Use strong passwords
To prevent third parties from accessing your sensitive information, strong passwords are a must. Protect your personal and corporate information to the fullest by opting for passwords that are eight or more characters long and contain alphanumeric characters. Be sure to not store your passwords using the remember me feature. This way, if one password is discovered, the hacker won’t have access to all your information. Furthermore, don’t forget to change your password from time to time. Having weak passwords can put an entire organization at risk.
3. Utilize a VPN
If you’re not sure of the security status of the network to which you’re connected, using a VPN might be the way to go as it enables you to connect to the network securely. At the same time, any browsing done on public Wi-Fi, will be shielded from prying eyes. A clear win-win!
4. Encrypt mobile devices
Your smartphone holds a lot of personal and corporate data, which can be a risk when it gets lost or stolen. To protect your sensitive information to the fullest, make sure your data is encrypted – unreadable. Most phones have encryption settings that you can enable in the security menu, all you must do is locate it and enter a password.
→ iOS: Go to settings > Touch ID & Password > Enter the lock screen code > Scroll to the bottom of the page and check if data protection is enabled.
→ Android: Go to security > Encrypt Phone. Be sure your device is 80% charged and unrooted before starting the process, otherwise you may lose all of your data.
5. Install an antivirus
Just like your computer, your smartphone can benefit from an anti-virus program too, as the files you download and the apps you install might be packed with malicious code. If you do open a malicious app or content, the installed anti-malware prevents your sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. So I wouldn’t hesitate if I was you…
6. Update to the latest software
You may not be aware of it, but your mobile device firmware might also be vulnerable to security threats. And when these loopholes are exploited, you risk your sensitive information leaving the device. Mobile phone operating system updates happen frequently and when they do, you tend to click them away or ask the device to remind you to update it later (we’ve all been there). But don’t ignore the pop-up reminder when it comes up. Charge your phone, clear out some space and install the update right away. This way your data is safeguarded at all times.
7. Avoid third party apps
Your mother may have told you to not speak to strangers as it’s dangerous. Well, the same principle applies when installing apps from third-party app stores. Prevent downloading applications that might infect your smartphone or tablet with malicious software, stay in the Google Play or App Store. If you do decide to use third-party apps, research them to be sure that you’re not installing a malicious one. If the app asks for access to too much personal information up front, our advice would be to just not download it.
8. Set up remote wipe
By setting up remote wipe, you’ll be able to wipe all the data on your phone remotely when your phone is lost or stolen. Not only ideal to keep sensitive information out of the hands of criminals, but the tool can also be used to find your phone’s location. A must have thus!