A smartphone is basically a walking computer that lives in your pocket. Failing to protect your phone, therefore, is like letting your computer play on the Internet without any supervision at all. This is not a very good decision to make, of course. It tends to make things very difficult because you have threats coming to your smartphone, but this still tends to get ignored. Only when we can’t use our smartphones the way we want that we start paying attention to it. Again, a lot of people will tell you that protecting your smartphone really isn’t that important. They will argue that there aren’t that many viruses or threats directly, so why bother? The truth is that if someone can get access to your phone, it also means that they can get access to your data. You probably store a lot of interesting data on our phone without thinking about it. There have even been some phishing attacks that targeted text messages, which is not a pleasant thought at all.
There are ways to protect your smartphone, of course:
1. Lock your screen!
Want to make sure that people can’t just pick up your phone and rifle through it? You need to learn how to lock your screen! There are several different ways to lock your phone. You might want to go ahead and just put on a PIN code that you have to enter in order to get access to the phone. Some people, such as those on Android, prefer to just trace a pattern that only they know. No matter which method words for you, use it consistently. Don’t unlock your phone just because it’s a pain to keep entering your PIN over and over again. It’s also very important that you avoid making your PIN the same one that you use everywhere. If people realize that you tend to repeat the same patterns again and again, they’ll test them out. What happens when they get control of your phone? We have seen incidents where people have been purposely distracted so that others could gain access to the cell phone in question.
2. Be Wary of Wi-Fi
Open Wi-Fi networks pose their own share of problems, and if you’re not careful then you’re going to run into having your information exposed where anyone could access it. Most people don’t really think about protection when they’re out at a coffee shop, but this is the exact setup people have used to steal information and gain way too much information on who you are as a person. Why chance having your sensitive data out in the open?
Connect only to Wi-Fi networks that you trust. If possible, connect to these open networks by using a VPN to give yourself another layer of security. If you’re always on the go, you’ll find that VPN networks are an affordable way to stay safe. If you’re going to be on your home network, then you aren’t as exposed. Not everyone is going to have access to that. Of course, you still need to use a good password for your home Wi-Fi network. You don’t want anyone to guess it on accident…or worse, use the default!
3. Be Wary of Apps
Not every app is going to be your smartphone’s friend. If anything, you need to be careful of what apps your phone ultimately trusts. It’s far too easy to download an app that you think does one thing, only to find that it’s upgrading itself in a way that allows more permissions than before. You need to make sure that you read the permissions list for every app before you agree to install it. Your apps should also have to prompt you to upgrade them. Auto-upgrade should be saved for your carrier’s software updates and the manufacturer’s apps, rather than the latest game that is more about entertainment than security.
At the end of the day, we’re not trying to keep anyone from getting the most out of their smartphone. If anything, we want people to get a lot out of their phones. After all, haven’t they paid enough for them? Our tips are just designed to help you stay safe while you’re enjoying yourself. What tips do you use in order to keep your smartphone in good running condition?