The rapidly changing technology of mobile devices has forced people to process and store reams of personal data on their smart phones. Our digital day-to-day activities like surfing the web, checking bank balances, booking appointments, sharing files, setting up reminders, instant messaging, video calling– have turned our mobile devices into a goldmine of personal information.
Given all these functionalities, our smart phones are vulnerable to online threats include malware that has been increasing (27 percent increase in the last quarter of 2017) at an alarming rate.
Also, our mobile devices are susceptible to physical attacks like theft due to their portability. But not all is lost…
In this article, we have discussed six practical steps that will ensure the security of your mobile phones and help you minimize the exposure to digital threats.
1. Biometrics/ Use Strong Passwords
You must have strong passwords coupled with fingerprint authenticators, to ensure unauthorized access impossible. A strong password contains alphanumeric characters and should be eight or more characters long. Use two-factor authentication to protect your device from unforeseen attacks.
Avoid using ‘remember me feature’ that most of us prefer to use due to the complexities of our passwords. This feature should be avoided as it only increases the chances of password getting spoofed.
*Furthermore, change your password from time to time.
2. Ensure Public Wi-Fi Is Protected
We all love free Wi-Fi that can turn expensive to us in a very devastating manner. Public Wi-Fi is not encrypted and are open to malicious people to spy on the network traffic and easily stole your usernames, passwords, and other sensitive information.
To protect against Wi-Fi hacking, it is advisable to use applications that secure your connection to the Wi-Fi which you are connected. Also, you should turn off wireless connectivity when you are not using them. This helps avoid connecting to unencrypted networks and also save your phone battery.
Virtual Private Network: To secure your network connection, using VPN is mandatory that will enable you to connect securely and any browsing activity you do on the free or public Wi-Fi will be protected from prying eyes.
3. Encrypt your mobile device
Our smartphones have built-in encryption (process of making data unreadable) feature– important in case of theft or to prevent unauthorized access. Encrypt your device with a password. The bigger the data, the more time an encryption process will take. Once you set the password, you need to remember it otherwise wrong attempts will automatically erase everything from your phone.
4. Install an Antivirus Application
The apps you install on your device and the files you download might have malicious code and once you launch, this code could send your personal information to hackers. To avoid that, it is recommended to install a reputable antivirus application that will ensure your security.
5. Update to the Latest Software
Keep your phone updated with the latest softwares. Major firmware companies, such as Apples iOS and Google Android, roll out new updates and most of those updates are to improve the user experience, address security flaws, and secure your mobile device from vulnerabilities.
*Get in the habit of checking periodic updates and set up it to be automatic or manual.
6. Log Out Of Your Accounts.
Most of us stay login in to social media apps even if we’re not using it. Staying login on your device is convenient but if someone gets unauthorized access to your phone, even for a minute, they can impersonate you and see the information you have displayed in apps. So, always log out of social apps when you’re not using them.
7. Keep a Remote Backup of Your Mobile Personal Data
Whether you drop or lose your phone, or are the victim of theft, it is advisable to have a remote backup of all the data you store on your mobile device-cloud-based service. Having a backup keep your information safe and gives you peace of mind too.
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Stay safe and spread awareness!