No Android device is perfect. Even if you carry it all the time with you, you still aren’t completely safe from phishing schemes and malware makers.
When it comes to the security of your mobile device, there is actually a lot you can do to protect your phone and its data. Here are eight great tips for securing your information on your smartphone and preventing people from attempting to steal it.
1. Keep your phone locked
This is a simple step that most people still neglect. Even when inside your own property, you’re still likely to get in trouble if a burglar snatches your smartphone and runs away with your bank account information. The best way to lock your phone is still through the creation of a PIN.
Patterns, fingerprints, iris scanning, and voice recognition are still breakable. Make sure that your pin is unique and refrain from using obvious passwords like 1-2-3-4 or your birthdate. Also, don’t share your PIN even with a close family member.
2. Have a backup copy of all your phone’s information
How many contact numbers do you actually have memorized? For many individuals, the contact information of all their relatives and friends can be found on their mobile devices, with no other existing physical copy. This makes phone loss more inconvenient as you will lose the means to communicate with others through mobile numbers (not to mention potentially dangerous for the people o your contacts list).
When you back up the contact information and other important data in your phone, you can rest easy. Although losing a phone is devastating, at least you don’t have to worry about losing what’s most important – your personal information.
3. Browse the internet safely
Think twice when connecting to a free Wi-Fi hotspot. You may be able to lower your mobile data cost, but you don’t know if that network is safe and isn’t compromised. If you must connect, take the necessary safety precautions. When connecting to a public wireless network, avoid logging into accounts, especially when it involves financial accounts.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
When using free Wi-Fi, protect yourself by using a mobile VPN. This way, you can secure your privacy even when connected to a public network. Just make sure that you’re not using a free VPN service as some of them don’t work well.
4. Get the facts
Before you respond, register, download, or even provide any information about yourself using your device, verify the facts first. Search online to check for any scams and look up the sender or company to verify their claims. No matter how alluring an offer may be, if it isn’t from a trustworthy entity, neglect and walk away from it.
5. Turn off connections when not in use
Make it a habit to turn off your Bluetooth or Wi-Fi when you’re not using them. Other than helping save your battery life, this can prevent your network connection from being manipulated to attack you. Check with your service provider for a phone security app that will help safeguard your valuable information.
6. Make use of security software
Mobile users who don’t protect their device with security software easily attract the attention of cybercriminals and hackers. Keep your mobile security software up to date as it will back up your data and help you locate your stolen or missing phone. When it comes to malware protection, using an anti-virus software also works best.
7. Update your phone
Once security fixes are available for your smartphone, make sure to update it. Smartphones are like computers in that they need regular updates for better functionality and better features, and to fix other important security weaknesses. Your service provider should be prompt in notifying you whenever there’s an available update.
8. Uninstall useless apps
Every mobile application has its own security problems. If you’re no longer using a certain app on your phone, uninstall it. The fewer apps you have, the fewer chances of an attacker invading your smartphone.
Only use apps from a reliable source
Majority of Android malware springs from unreliable third party sources. Google Play Store is a popular and trustworthy source to get apps. But to be on a safe side, scan your device for malware every time you install a program.
There are some applications which claim extensive rights to access and leverage your personal information. Walk away from the app if it wants to access more than what is needed to run their service.
By following the tips above, you can keep your phone safe from prying hands and malicious online entities. These may be simple steps, but these can help safeguard not just your phone but also your personal information. In today’s world where theft and fraud are rampant, security should always be a top priority.
Al-moottil P Antony is a C-Suite Executive Support Professional for Zain, a leading mobile and data services operator with a commercial footprint in 8 Middle Eastern and African countries.