Modern smartphones are a thing to behold, offering much more than traditional calling and texting functionalities. You can access your bank account, track your fitness, record videos, and video chat with friends using it. With so much personal and sensitive data stored in them, these devices have become hackers’ key target.
Nothing is quite as petrifying as the thought of someone stealing your data. However, you can easily protect your device from such malicious attacks by following these simple steps:
Update your Operating System and Apps Regularly
Most people tend to ignore update prompts. After all, why bother, if the phone is functioning as always? Software updates offer much more than a streamlined experience. They are crucial in protecting the security of your smartphone. Hackers always look to exploit the loopholes in an app or the phone’s operating system, so the longer you go without updating your phone, the more vulnerable your personal information becomes.
Use a Mobile VPN
Forget free WiFi; public internet hotspots are an easy target for hackers. An expert cybercriminal can see everything you are sending and receiving on these networks. This includes emails, your activity on social media, and, most worryingly, your login credentials to various platforms.
The best way to protect yourself from such risks is by avoiding public WiFi altogether. If you have no other choice, make sure that you use a mobile VPN. It will encrypt all your internet traffic, so no hacker will be able to see what you are doing.
Ignore All Spam
Ever heard of phishing and social engineering? Hackers like using fake emails, pretending that they are from genuine service providers. Such emails often contain suspicious links, malicious attachments and prompt you to click on them.
The easiest way to avoid this problem is by ignoring messages from unknown senders. Just disregard them as you would other spam content. If you recognize the sender, scrutinize the email before clicking on any link it contains. Remember, no official institution will ask you to provide sensitive information over email.
If there are any links in the email, you should not click on them directly. Instead, open up a new tab and go directly to the site and log into your account. If there really is something you need to take care of, it will be there. It is far too easy to spoof links and make them look legit, so you should never click on them
Lock your Phone
Sometimes, activating the inbuilt lock features on your smartphone can seem to be a nuisance. It is much easier to access the camera, Instagram, or a messenger app without entering a password or a PIN every time. The problem, however, is that any stranger can access your confidential information by just pressing the power button.
It is advisable to activate the lock features that come with your phone. Use biometric authentication, set a password, PIN, or a pattern. This way, if you happen to lose your phone, no one can access your info. Besides, you should also lock separate apps with sensitive information, like banking, email, and even your Amazon app.
Use Two-factor Authentication
Many online services and apps support two-factor authentication. It’s a security mechanism that requires the user to provide additional information after entering their login details. It’s usually a temporary code sent to a mobile phone linked to that particular account.
While this feature is not a favorite of many, it guarantees extra security. The hacker might have the login credentials to your account, but they can’t access it unless they also enter the code sent to your phone, for example.
Install Official Apps
Hackers like taking advantage of the popularity of certain apps and using them to their advantage. For instance, a hacker might modify WhatsApp or Facebook by adding malicious items. They then release them to the public with the claim that they have additional features. Many users are unable to resist the temptation of installing such apps. People don’t know that these apps could be spying on their activities or stealing their data.
Always ensure that you install official apps only from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store for iOS and Android devices, respectively.
Backup Your Data
Cyber attacks might be inevitable in some cases, but preparing beforehand will minimize the damage. Therefore, ensure that you back up your data regularly. This way, your information is always safe even if your device gets lost or stolen.
The modern smartphone is more than a mere communication device. It contains loads of confidential personal data. You can protect this data by updating your OS, using a mobile VPN, and locking your phone. These simple measures will make a world of a difference if your phone ever gets stolen or lost.