Smartphones, by their very nature, have always been and will always be desirable targets for hackers and other criminals. In order to keep your phone and its contents safe, it’s advisable to develop a number of useful habits that will help you maintain information hygiene. We have prepared a list of 13 important tips to keep your iOS or Android phone safe.
Software developers are constantly releasing updates to their products, and many of them are aimed at improving security to help keep your phone safe from hacking and data theft. If you notice a notification that a fresh update is available for your apps or OS, don’t delay – it’s better to download it right away.
Avoid public Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi networks in malls, cafes, airports and other public places are often used by attackers. If you want to increase the security of your phone, try to use mobile Internet more often instead of Wi-Fi – the latter should preferably be turned off altogether. But if you can’t do without Wi-Fi, consider using VPN services that encrypt your traffic. Just be careful – not every such service offers a good quality connection.
Lock your phone
Face ID and fingerprint screen unlocking are great, but for maximum protection, we recommend locking your phone with at least a six-digit password. Yes, you’ll have to remember it and enter it every time you want to look something up on your smartphone, but you don’t have to worry about someone accessing your data. This will be especially useful for students, because stealing essays or term papers will be a serious problem that only a write my essay for me service can solve in time. Cyber security experts also insist that passwords contain numbers, upper and lower case letters, and symbols. You can use a special password generator to create such a password.
Do not give out your phone number too often
Few people will agree to give their mobile number to the first stranger – by the same logic, you should not give your number to any application that asks for it. The more platforms own your data, the greater the risk that you may become a victim of SMS hacking or fraud. Some attackers may also try to bypass your two-factor authentication. To minimize the risk, try getting a second number specifically for apps and site registration. It’s not necessary to buy a new SIM card – there are apps that generate numbers specifically for such cases.
Don’t tell too much about yourself on social media
The less information about you in the public domain, the better. Don’t include your city, specific addresses, places of work, phone numbers, names of relatives and any other details that can be used for hacking on social networks. Many social networks also allow you to hide certain elements of your profile from strangers – set up your pages so they don’t give away too much information. It’s also worth revoking the permissions of social media apps that you don’t use.
Try not to store personal data, documents or other files on your phone. Don’t keep a lot of geo-tagged photos in the gallery. Keeping your phone relatively clean by regularly uploading images and important files to a computer or cloud storage is a useful habit.
Use complex passwords
We’ve already mentioned passwords when it comes to screen locks, but it’s a good idea to use complex passwords in general. A good password is a combination of 16-20 characters, including numbers, upper case letters, upper case letters, and symbols. But even the most complex passwords should be changed at least once every six months – or as soon as you find out that one of the services you use has been hacked. Another tip for account recovery screening questions: never answer them honestly. Instead of providing real information about yourself, you may answer a security question with a simple password.
Beware of spam and phishing emails
One of the most common methods of phone hacking is email. Phishing schemes are designed specifically to get you to voluntarily put personal information into the hands of attackers. Do not click on links in advertisement emails, avoid suspicious attachments and do not launch unknown applications.
Use built-in security measures
If you lose your phone due to theft, device tracking services (Find My iPhone and Find My Device for Android) can help minimize the damage. If you remember to turn on your mobile Internet and geolocation, you can use these tools to remotely lock your smartphone or format its contents. You can also set your data to be automatically formatted after entering the wrong password.
Keep an eye on app permissions
Check the apps on your phone and see what permissions they have. You can revoke access to your camera, microphone, contact book, or geolocation. If you see some obscure app wanting too much, that’s a reason to think twice and look online for information.
Back up your data
Back up all of your critical documents and photos regularly in case something happens to your phone. Of course, this won’t help your device in any way, but at least this way you won’t lose valuable information. You can keep a backup of your data on your computer or on some cloud storage service.
Watch what apps you install
Never download apps if you have no idea where they came from. This problem is not relevant for iPhone owners, but on Android malware is always a threat if you download apps outside of the Play Store. Never download apps directly through text messages – this is an extremely common method of hacking.
Don’t use public phone chargers Charge your smartphone only from trusted USB ports – like your computer or car. Charging stations in public places can open your data to attack, so always bring your charger and adapter.