Cell phones have become an integral part of our lives, from the mundane task of checking Facebook to ordering dinner online. With the widespread use and reliance on smartphones, people are more vulnerable to cyber attacks than ever before. Cybercriminals can easily steal vital data from a person’s phone without even breaking into his physical property. Malware and viruses attack a mobile device just as they do other computers or laptops. A small step can be taken to ensure that you have your data secure and your phone free from viruses and malicious software. Here are some useful tips on how to keep your phone and data safe.
Create strong passwords
It is a bad habit to use the same password over and over again. A strong password can keep your phone secure from most common cyber threats. Password managers are a good solution if you have trouble remembering different passwords for each site. Most apps, especially messaging apps store messages as plain text on a device. If you need to send sensitive information over the phone, encrypt the message instead of just sending it over as plain text. Parents also have a responsibility to instill in their children an understanding of online safety from an early age.
Keep antivirus updated
Antivirus is the first line of defense against cyber attacks. While these apps can be helpful, they are not 100% effective as they can only scan an app for viruses after it has been installed on your phone. Because of this, the antivirus for Android devices should be used in conjunction with other security measures to ensure that all files and software on your device are protected from malware at all times. Make sure you keep antivirus updated so that it can protect your phone from new threats as well.
Be careful what accounts you link together. Linking different accounts on your phone together may provide convenience, but it also increases vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks. Always use two-factor authentication whenever possible when signing into one account using another service like Google or Facebook.
Be wary of 3rd party apps
Malware and viruses can spread via apps easily. It is always best to download and install an app from the official Google Play Store (Google Play Store link here). You should also watch for free apps that claim to make your phone look better by adding shortcuts on the screen. These apps may be legitimate, but they might also contain malware that will steal data from your phone without you even knowing it.
Ask yourself if you need a specific app. If you do not use a particular app very often or if its features could be accessed through another app, then there’s no point in keeping it on your phone. Delete useless apps that take up space on your device, especially those that are running in the background, and reduce battery life.
Use data encryption
File encryption is a great way of securing vital information that may be stored on your phone. Most apps, especially messaging and social networking apps often store data such as conversations and photos on the device itself. Any unsolicited person who gains access to this data will have full access to sensitive information which could lead to identity theft or credit card fraud if it falls into the wrong hands. Encrypting app data prevents unauthorized access even when it has been moved off the device since only those with a key can decrypt this data.
The best way to ensure you do not run into any issues with security breaches is by encrypting your entire mobile device from the start. Devices running on Android Lollipop come pre-encrypted by default while older devices will require you to encrypt your phone manually. When the device has been properly encrypted, all data on it including photos, apps, and any other personal information are protected from unauthorized access even if your phone gets stolen or lost.
Back up, back up, and back up
No matter how careful you are, there will be a time when something could go wrong. That’s why it is always important to back up your phone regularly in case soft or hard resets are necessary at a later date. Your best bet is using cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive since they provide ample space for all your files and data from your phone. With these services, you can easily access any of the backed-up information even if you have a new device so long as you still have an account with them.
Use anti-theft features
One common feature found on most Android devices is the ability to locate your phone via GPS. If you have lost or misplaced your phone, you can easily track it down by using these features. You can also remotely wipe all data from the device if it is stolen or lost so that nobody else will have access to any of your personal information. Most anti-theft apps also allow users to set a passcode lock remotely in case they forget their PIN code when trying to unlock the phone. They also allow you to remotely lock your device to ensure nobody will access the data inside.
Your Android smartphone contains a lot of personal information that should be protected from dishonest individuals or cyber criminals looking to steal vital content from your device. By following the security measures mentioned above, you can ensure maximum protection without