Relying more on smartphones adds value to our lives. We use our phones for just about everything: Business and personal email, social media accounts, internet browsing, photos, text messages, and the list goes on.
With all that personal and professional information stored on our phones, if you are not protecting it, all your data is at risk. That's because anyone can trace and steal information from an insecure phone.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO MAKE YOUR SMARTPHONE SAFER
More often than not, simply being thoughtful about the apps you download, the permissions you give, and locking your phone is more than enough to keep you safe and secure online. Here are some tips on how to protect your smartphone and what you store on it from hackers and intruders.
Make sure your phone is locked. A lock screen is your first line of defense for your phone. Think of it like the lock on your front door. Enable a biometric unlock, like Face ID.
Set up multi-factor authentication on accounts that offer it. Multi-factor authentication requires a code to be sent to you, either via text, email, or an authenticator app, in addition to a password to access whatever program or account it's protecting.
Only download apps from official sources, the Google Play store and the App Store specifically. Remember: Anything you download from a sketchy source could potentially put spyware on your phone.
Double check every app you think about downloading. Research to ensure it is being offered by a real company, not a copycat or fake trying to trick you into downloading it.
Apps need permissions to do certain things in order to function. Check what permissions you're giving an app when you download it. Only accept what makes sense, some companies take advantage of app permissions to collect more information about you than they really need.
Don't click on strange links in emails or texts. They might take you to fake websites that will infect your device or try to steal your information. If you see a link to a site, search for it on Google instead.
Phishing schemes are on the rise. One way cybercriminals get you is by sending links or attachments in emails or on social media that look like they’re from someone you know, but really aren’t. Don't click on links without confirming with the person sending. Phishing utilizes social engineering to get people to either click on malicious links that install malware or to willingly hand over their personal information, like passwords and logins.
Stay alert for vishing or voice phishing, which is when hackers try to trick you into handing over data by calling you over the phone and pretending to be a professional.
It may seem like a lot and that it's a hassle, but by following these best practices, you take greater steps to make sure your smartphone is protected. Remember, your phone is important to you and so is mobile security.