We live in a society in which the risk of privacy violations, identity theft, espionage and blackmail is ubiquitous. This has to do with the way our data is stored, processed and protected. The greatest risk, of course, comes from smartphones, they contain so much personal information that they cannot only be used to precisely tell of your day to day movements, social circles and interests, but to also determine your personality.
Yes, researchers from Australia’s RMIT University claim to have mapped five personality types that are detectable through phone usage and location data. While this might come as a surprise, it is also a wakeup call to folks that don’t take data protection seriously. Think of an aggressive marketer (and there is no shortage of them) who is able to get their hands on the data of millions of people and to send to them highly personalized ads. It is too much power, and whenever you handle your data carelessly, you hand out that power.
In this piece, we discuss 10 ways to keep your mobile device protected so that your data always remain safe and your device free from damage.
1. Lock Your Phone with a Password or Screen Lock Pattern
This is one of those basic things that you can do to keep criminals from accessing your data. Even if you are not the type who easily forgets their phone in a coffee shop or at their work desk, you still require a password because you never know who will have access to it.
A password or fingerprint detection is easy to set up. All you have to do is navigate to the settings section of your phone and set up one.
2. Use VPN when accessing Public Wi-Fi
That free Wi-Fi that you get from your coffee shop can serve as a conduit for hackers and cybercriminals in general to access the contents of your phone simply because the networks are unsecured. But with a VPN app that masks your IP address, there is no reason to fear such networks.
3. Use Android Cleaners
On Android devices, Android cleaners, such as Android Care work the same way as PC repair software tools. They will delete junk data and optimize the performance of your phone’s battery and RAM. They will also help secure your data with passwords and notify you of malware threats and cyber intrusion attempts.
An Android cleaner is that one piece of software that you should always have on your device.
4. Set up Remote Wipe
Remote wipe is a security feature that you can use to delete all the data on your phone if it is ever stolen or lost. That way, cyber criminals cannot gain access to it. Remote Wipe can also be used to find your phone’s location.
Here is how it works:
- Go to Android.com/find and sign in to your Google account.
- Choose your main profile if you have more than one on your phone.
- Your lost phone will get a notification if it is turned on.
- On the map, you will get an approximate location of where your phone is. This position is not always accurate.
- Choose what you want to do. Now that you’ve located your phone, you can:
- Play Sound at full volume for 5 minutes;
- Lock your phone with your pin, pattern, or password or;
- Permanently erase all the data on your phone.
5. Backup Your Data
One way to make sure that you never lose your data is to constantly back it up. You can use free services such as Google Drive to store your files and to retrieve them whenever you need them.
6. Restrict Permissions
Is there any app on your device that is getting access to say locations data when it doesn’t really need to? You will never know the answer to this question unless you go through the entire catalog of the apps installed on your device and vet the permissions one by one.
If you find anything to be too intrusive, just remove the app because it is probably selling your data to advertisers.
7. Use a Screen Protector
Devices are prone to falling all the time or being sat on and the only way to prevent hardware damage is to use a screen protector. You can consider a screen protector as an investment rather than an extra cost because buying a new phone is much more expensive, should your current one get physically damaged.
8. Avoid Third Party Apps
Only use apps from trusted stores such as Google Play or Apple’s App Store. Apps in these libraries are usually vetted and constantly updated, meaning that they are less likely to constitute a security threat.
9. Don’t Click Unsafe Links
If you are like most people, you probably use your phone to access the internet. You need to be therefore wary of malicious links and attachments, phony text messages and other types of social engineering scams all aimed at luring you into giving your personal data.
As a rule of thumb, if something is too good to be true, it probably is. Take your time to research the offer or “the amazing discount” and see whether it is true.
10. Keep Yourself Updated
Keep yourself updated about Android and iOS devices because things are always changing. There are some really cool blogs such as softwaretested.com that will keep you updated on software threats and the general state of smartphone technologies. Don’t miss out.
And that completes our list of 10 ways to keep your mobile device protected. Hopefully, it will go a long way in informing your approach to device security.