Smartphones are one of the favorite targets of cybercriminals. Why? 67% of the population has mobiles, and it is the device most used by users to connect to the network. Therefore, it is a great gateway for hackers.
Users can, for example, be victims of ransomware, i.e. malware that hijacks and encrypts computer information, or spyware that ends up undermining the smartphone performance and compromising your private data.
A smartphone can suffer the same cyber threats as a personal computer:
Only 10 years ago, the most our mobile phones could hope for was having the latest “ringtone” in fashion. Today, the smartphone is an essential element in our lives, storing contacts, photos, and videos in high definition, allowing us to access our emails, social networks, opinion forums, messaging applications, and games, make purchases and even control household appliances.
We can say that smartphones are one more part of our leisure and our social and work life, replacing or complementing the personal computer at home. And this is why, just as we protect our computers with antivirus and security and data protection measures, we should do the same with our mobiles.
The smartphone is the main device used to access the internet across the world, but few users know how to protect all the private information on their mobile from external threats.
As it is a device that we carry everywhere in our pockets, the threat of theft or loss is always present. If we do not take the appropriate preventive measures, imagine everything that a stranger could access from your mobile in a few minutes: bank accounts, PayPal accounts, social networks, addresses, passwords, photographs…
Below, you can read various simple and practical tips to protect your phone from all these threats.
1. Keep the operating system updated
When you see a message on your cell phone to update the system, do not hesitate: you have to accept and wait those few minutes necessary for the equipment to be operational again. With each update, the system receives corrections or security patches that protect the cell phone against many of the threats that are out there.
2. Avoid public Wi-Fi connections
These types of open and unprotected connections expose the traffic that circulates through the network. Hence, you’d better avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi.
3. Use a VPN
The VPN or virtual private network is a tool that encrypts the content. The data goes to the VPN and from the VPN server to the website you want to visit and not even the internet provider can see the data that is transferred this way.
Therefore, it can be a good option to give the connection an extra layer of security and privacy. There are several apps that, for free or for a fee, offer this type of coverage to your phone.
4. Download apps from official stores
It is important to only use official stores to download applications and before doing so, take care of tracking comments on the web on specialized and reliable sites about the service that is going to be downloaded. Investigations reporting insecure or malicious apps frequently arise.
5. Avoid clicking on any links
It is common to receive messages, emails, or redirections to other sites where, supposedly, you will get a discount, can read an ultra-new story, or have access to a unique app. As general advice, you should avoid clicking on those links because they could redirect you to malicious pages.
A Pro Tip: Before clicking on any suspicious links received from an unknown phone number, you can check the identity of the texter on PhoneHistory to find more details about the number and its owner.
6. Enable Two-Way Verification
Double authentication systems (SMS, code, or security keys) serve as an extra security layer to verify the identity of the user. Gmail, Instagram, and many other services allow you to configure this option from the Settings menu.
This method is extremely useful because if a hacker has managed to obtain the password through some phishing technique, they will not be able to enter the account because the system will ask them to verify their identity through the second chosen way.
7. Have a security solution
There are several security companies that offer antivirus software for smartphones. If you want, you can choose a reliable product, run it, and keep it up to date.
The 8 main measures to protect your mobile
- Set an unlock pattern on the touch screen that is not easy to figure out but easy for you to remember. In addition, you can combine this option with an unlock pin or password from the same security menu, thus increasing the protection of the phone.
- Keep the operating system and applications updated. Many times, apps have security issues that are fixed by installing the next update. Use a trusted Wi-Fi network, in this way you will not be exposed to the risk of connection failure and update interruption.
- Try to install the applications from the Android Market or the App Store on your iPhone. Never install applications downloaded from the internet, as they are usually unreliable.
- Although it is safe to install applications from the application manager of your smartphone, you should be careful with the permissions they ask for. If a photography app asks for access to your messages, be wary.
- Disabling the Bluetooth connection is very useful to avoid remote access to your device. Besides, it helps you save battery. Connect to it only when you really need it.
- Write down the IMEI, PIN, PUK, and SIM number in a safe place. It will come in handy in case of theft or loss of your phone.
- Back up your phone data, contacts, and SIM card regularly. Save this data on another device or upload your files to the cloud.
- There are security applications that allow you to locate by GPS or block your phone remotely in case of theft or loss. Pay attention to McAfee Mobile Security, Android Device Manager,or Avast, which also serves as an antivirus.
Put these security measures into practice and share them with your friends to enjoy a more secure smartphone.