If you don’t apply the same level of security to your phone as to your computer/laptop, you should, and there are various ways to cyber-proof your smartphone. Knowing your precious data is safe is important to your peace of mind because, let’s face it, the amount of reliance many have on their smartphones is immeasurable. The sort of data phones now hold is precious and personal and the last thing you want to have to deal with is a cyber attack. Here are some ways to cyber-proof your smartphone:
1. Enable Encryption
One of the simplest ways to cyber-proof your smartphone is to enable encryption. When buying a smartphone, it is a good idea to check it comes with some powerful encryption software installed on it. Sometimes, out-of-the-box android phones don't come with any such software, and that's exactly when you should consider looking for third party applications that encrypt data and the device. Try an application that not only encrypts data on your phone, but also safeguards everything on your SD card. An application that offers on-device as well as over-the-air encryption is another good choice.
2. Discuss It with Your Carrier
Many people don't realize that they can ask their phone manufacturer or carrier to help them find some useful security software that would cyber-proof their devices. Sometimes, companies like Avast, AVG, and Lookout Mobile Security also offer free products to help you in this regard. Be sure to grab these opportunities with both hands.
3. Turn off Auto-save Feature
As more and more cyber-crooks are targeting smartphones remotely, the first step you should always take is to disable the feature that autosaves your passwords and user names. Cyber thieves can enter your phone and access your browser to read your data if you've used the auto-save feature.
4. Be Wise when Installing Apps
Don't use your phone's browser to find and install apps – you will be better off using retailers' dedicated apps. It is also a good idea to invest some time in reading reviews before you install an app. Going for applications offered by trusted vendors like Apple or Google will help you stay safe. Last but not the least, read the permissions before you finalize your decision to download and install an app.
5. Be Sensible when Using Public Wi-Fi Networks
Isn't it obvious? For many, it is not because an average Jane won't think twice before using a public Wi-Fi network. Not all Wi-Fi hotspots in libraries, coffee shops, hotels, airports, universities, and other public places are secure. Yes, they are convenient, but others may access your data and information you send through a public Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately, mobile apps cannot encrypt info properly, especially when surfing using unsecured Wi-Fi network. Opting for your phone's data network is always the better choice, especially when conducting sensitive transactions like shopping, accessing your account, or filing your taxes.
6. Clear Your Browser History
What can be simpler than this? Really, it is an easy but one of the most important ways to cyber-proof your smartphone because it keeps cyber thieves from retracing your steps and getting information required to hijack your accounts. Clear it regularly!
7. Install a Tracking App
Even after taking all the steps to cyber-proof your phone, there will always be a risk of losing all your data and apps if you misplace your phone. If you're an iPhone owner, you will have a built-in app to track your phone and find its location. Some Android apps can also perform the same task for you. If you haven't already installed one such app and lost your phone, contact your wireless carrier to learn how you can erase your stored data for privacy and protection.
Most of the ways to protect your smartphone take a few minutes but save you hours of anguish in the event of a cyber attack. Is your phone protected?