How to Hack-Proof Your Smartphone
Need help making sure your mobile device is hack-proof? Check out this post to learn more about protecting your devices from data breaches.
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Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. You store a lot of confidential data on your smartphone, such as passwords, credit card information, and addresses.
However, most people do not pay much attention to the overall safety of the information stored on their phones. As such, smartphones are increasingly becoming the new prey of choice for cybercriminals.
Below are several simple ways to ensure your devices are hack-proof.
Install Security Software
This may seem obvious, but a considerable percentage of smartphone users overlook this security measure.
Do not download just any security app available in the app store. Go through app recommendations from reliable authority sources and check out the user reviews for each app you’re interested in downloading. A good anti-malware app offers malware detection and prevention as well as anti-theft and privacy features.
A recommendable free option for malware protection is Avast Mobile Security.
Regularly Update Software and Firmware
Any dated software is a hacker’s paradise. Always keep track of all available software updates and install them accordingly. Software updates contain patches and fixes to vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit. The same applies to your operating systems.
Ensure that you have applied updates come from official sources. Avoid using unofficial tools to “root” your Android device or “jailbreak” your iOS device unless you are sure of what you are doing. Hackers can penetrate technical safeguards in rooted or jailbroken smartphones.
Analyze App Permissions
Smartphone hackers infect apps with malware to orchestrate man-in-the-middle or ransomware attacks. Make a habit of analyzing all apps. Read app reviews online and avoid apps with unnecessary permissions requests. For instance, a payment app does not require access to your smartphone’s camera.
In some cases, legitimate apps can be utilized for nefarious purposes, such as spying via your phone’s microphone and camera. You can always pull back on app permissions. On iOS, you will go to Settings and select Privacy to make app permission changes. On Android, go to your Apps and Notifications. Select App Permissions and make your changes.
Be Aware of the Background
You are not often aware of what is happening behind the scenes when you install an app or browse and download a file. A recommendable security measure for your online activities is to install LogDog. This is a mobile Intrusion Detection System (IDS) app that is available for Android and iOS.
LogDog monitors your online accounts and scans several unauthorized access indicators. The app achieves this by monitoring your routine across various services and devices. The app will notify you in case of any suspicious events in your accounts.
Use a VPN
Connecting to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) server enables you to encrypt all online traffic. This protects your sensitive data from hackers. Utilizing a VPN is particularly important if you regularly connect to public Wi-Fi networks at schools, airports, cafes, or hospitals.
Public Wi-Fi hotspots are susceptible to cyber attacks. You should ideally avoid them, and if not, you should use a VPN. There are many great VPN apps that you can download and install for Android and iOS.
Use a Strong Passcode
Create a strong alphanumeric passcode for your phone just in case it gets stolen or lost and someone attempts to access it. Avoid the common mistake of using a passcode that is easy to remember, such as your date of birth. Opt for a complex combination of characters that don’t follow a logical pattern.
For further security, you can use multi-factor authentication (MFA). Having multiple factors or digital layers, including fingerprint, password, PIN, facial recognition and a trusted device, will make your smartphone virtually inaccessible.
There are many other measures that you can take to hack-proof your phone. These include controlling your phone remotely (track and lock), avoiding auto-login, changing passwords often, using different passwords, avoiding third-party apps, locking individual apps, and turning off Bluetooth.
If you need to resell, donate or recycle your smartphone and remember to erase all data on it first.
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