For many of us it’s hard to imagine life without our phones. Smartphones have no doubt made our lives more convenient. We can keep in touch with anyone, anywhere, have access to information and games whenever we like and can easily manage our day to day activities with their apps. However, their importance also makes them a big security risk. Here are our top tips on how you can keep your phone secure.
You’re probably sick of hearing: “change your password”; “don’t use the same password” and “it must contain uppercase, lowercase, special characters, numbers and a cryptic dance”. Well OK, we might have made up the last part, but you’ve heard the rest before, right? “Pretty much everything from your food shop to your bank to your social media all require passwords, it is very easy to lose track of them all or if you’re using the same one for everything – it’s very easy for someone to get access to those accounts,” says Pierre V. Lipsey, assistant developer and content coordinator at Paper Fellows and Essayroo.
It goes without saying that you should have a password on your phone too. One of the best ways to keep your phone and all the data stored inside it safe is to use a password manager such as LastPass. Not only do these apps create secure passwords for you but you can keep your passwords and any important information in a secure vault which can only be accessed by a master password. It also auto-fills your details and passwords for you so you don’t have to remember all those passwords or spend huge amounts of time filling out the same form on every page you visit.
Keep Your Phone Updated
This might seem like a strange one, but you should always keep your phone up to date. That isn’t just to make sure that all your apps keep on running smoothly either. Each operating system update contains the latest security measures for your phone to help it keep protected. You can help this along by using anti-virus software on your phone. Some phones come with something like AVG already installed to help protect you, but it can be worth investing in paid-for anti-virus for better protection. These should do regular scans of your phone and always be kept up to date to make sure it’s protecting you and your files from anything malicious on the web.
Public Wi-Fi is no doubt very convenient when you’re wanting to save your precious data, but these networks aren’t secure. That means they’re easy to manipulate, other people using this network may be able to gain access to your accounts and watch what you’re doing on your phone – creepy! If you do need to use unsecure networks, make sure you use them sensibly and keep your phone secure in other ways.
Networks aren’t the only thing that can be unsecure. Have you ever noticed the http:// or https:// at the beginning of a web address? This shows whether the website is encrypted or not. An encrypted website encodes information before sending it making it difficult for any hackers to access that information. You should check that a website is https:// before entering your information into it especially if you’re making a purchase, this will help to keep your details secure.
Protect Your Sim Card
As well as having a screen lock in place it’s handy to have a SIM card lock which usually comes in the form of a PIN number. This way, in the event that someone slips out your SIM card and tries to use it in another phone it will require that PIN code to be entered in order to use it. While it won’t help you get your SIM card back it should give you the time you need to notify your network to deactivate it.
Check Your Apps
There are thousands of apps on the app stores. They are generally checked by the store for anything malicious but unfortunately malicious apps can still slip through the cracks. Make sure that when your downloading apps you pay attention to the software requirements and what access that app requires.” Try to stick to the well-known apps with plenty of reviews and downloads. If you have decent anti-virus software on your phone it should also help to pick up on anything untoward,” advises Virginia J. Johnston, security researcher for Professional Essay Service and UK Writings.
You Don’t Need Geotagging
Geotagging is a feature on many smartphones which automatically geotags your photos directly into the photo files themselves. That means if someone has the right software, they can look at your pictures where you’ve uploaded them and find out the location of them. This is a particularly handy tip for parents with kids who have smartphones, it will prevent anyone from being able to see the location of your child’s photos just by looking at the file. It’s not a necessary feature and you will be able to turn it off in your phone’s settings.
Have a Backup
Having a backup is always recommended. Backup any photos or files that you want to keep on a regular basis, just in case. It’ll also help to save you some room too! It’s also good to have a plan in place just in case your phone is stolen or lost. Install an app which is designed to remotely wipe your phone, these services are often offered by anti-virus providers. In the event that your phone is stolen or lost you will be able to remotely wipe it to prevent anyone from accessing any of the information stored on that phone.
Stay Smartphone Safe
It’s often easy to forget how much information we keep safe in our smartphones. We use them every single day for all sorts of different things. It’s really important that we keep them secure, so we can protect our personal information or anything that could be used by someone maliciously. There are plenty of tools out there to help keep your phone safe, make sure you use them and keep them up to date. Keeping your smartphone safe will save you from a lot of worry!