About a decade ago, most people’s personal files were stored on one device; their computer. This, however, is no longer the case. Nearly every person reading this has a smartphone of sorts, be it old or new, expensive or more affordable. These portable devices store loads of personal information, pictures, texts and other files that most would like to keep private.
While your personal computer sits on your desk and in most cases is only vulnerable to online attacks, the smartphone is a relatively small device that we carry with us everywhere and thus if lost, could seriously compromise the data on it as well.
How to protect your phone’s data from being compromised?
Photo by: Oleg Magni
There is no single answer for this question. There are few things that can be done to improve the security of your phone and we recommend you apply all of them. Let’s begin:
- Keep the software up to date:
Whether it’s within the operating system or individual applications, new vulnerabilities are discovered by people with malicious intent. Developers are constantly applying security patches to get rid of such threats, thus keeping your software up to date can greatly improve your smartphone security and we strongly recommend it.
- Use a screen lock:
Be it a PIN code, pattern lock or biometric security, having a lock on your phone keeps your data safe if the device is lost, stolen or in the wrong hands for a temporary time.
- Be cautious when installing apps:
Most applications you install require certain permissions to function, including the ability to read the stored files, access to microphone and even camera. A lot of apps legitimately need these permissions to run properly, however some do not and want them to simply collect data on the users. If you are installing a calculator app on your phone and see that it wants to access your files or call logs, better choose a different app.
Android also lets you install apps from third-party sources. Be vigilant when installing such apps and double check the trustworthiness of the source. We strongly advise against installing anything from unfamiliar websites.
- Always use a VPN when connecting to open Wi-Fi:
There is a serious risk of other people on the network having the ability to snoop on your online activities. Using a VPN ensures that all of the traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel.
- Limit what you post on social media:
Social engineering attacks are not uncommon and require no breach of data. If someone can collect enough of very personal info about you from your social media posts, they can use it to reset some of your passwords and even impersonate you online.
If you follow these advice, it will be very difficult for anyone to get into your phone
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