Secure Your Smartphone The Right Way

The issue of smartphone security has been growing in urgency over the last few years. Many new users have not been made aware of the potential risks the devices pose, due to the rapid growth of the smartphone market.

It would take just a few minutes to get to know you intimately, if a stranger got hold of your smartphone. What you do for a living, who your friends are, where you go and what you like to do are all told by your messages, address book, calendar, photos and browser history.

If your phone were stolen or misplaced, do you know what you would do? What about all that personal data that is linked to your phone? Would you even know where to start to get it back? If this has ever happened to you, you know what a nightmare it can be.

Sure, it’s the most obvious thing to do. But setting a password is the first step to securing your smart phone. Most smartphone operating systems automatically lock your phone after a period of inactivity and allow you to set a password. Taking this simple step will help keep prying eyes away from your data should you ever misplace your phone.

Unfortunately, the main reason people don’t protect their phones even with an elementary passcode is because they find it a hassle. They don’t want the inconvenience of having to type in four extra digits before they make a phone call, or send an SMS. Cyber criminals can be deterred from accessing your data with passwords.

Remote wipe should be enabled too. With remote wipe, you can remotely restore your phone to its factory settings and wipe all its data. This is not something you want to do every day, but should be prepared to initiate should your phone fall into the wrong hands.

Mobile phone users have a tendency to enable their devices to automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks. Cyber criminals sometimes create Wi-Fi networks to hijack the personal information of unsuspecting users in popular areas. Without checking if they are secure, consumers will often use any wireless connection available.

Apps that you download are the simplest way for hackers to get into your phone. You are taking the first step toward protecting your phone by not opening up your phone for non-regulated software, and only buying from the dedicated app stores.

Currently, pirated software accounts for most malware found on phones, and comes from free apps that are distributed with malicious code by hackers. Look for the official versions to keep yourself safe.

There are also many apps that track where you are. You can turn off location services altogether, or choose which apps gain access to location data.

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