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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

5 Best Practices on Safeguarding Your Smartphone and Keeping Your Mobile Data Secure

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We live in a world where our smartphones are part of our lives. Almost all our daily life activities are centered around the mobile phone in your hand. From keeping in touch with our loved ones far and wide to managing our money saved in our bank accounts down the extent that most people have gone ahead of possibilities to craft out ways to earn their daily bread online using their smartphones. This makes our phones a vital part of our lives, and that brings up the need to keep it safe and secured.

You should know that cyber-criminals and the hoodlums around you are increasingly targeting your mobile device, looking for any possible way to get access to the because valuable data it contains, such as banking passwords and usernames, e-commerce and social media logins, and personal information that they can use in carrying out their cyber-crimes.

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You don’t want your bank details tampered with either do you want your files to slip into the hands of people who might use it against you.

Your smartphone was build out of the box to be secure, and it comes along with many features that make protecting your personal information from thieves and scammers very easy.

If you can be able to utilize these various security features already provided by your smartphone manufacturer, you almost don’t need to bother about losing your personal and important details to any criminal. But the problem arises when you are ignorant of the various ways to put these security features to work perfectly; securing your phone.

In this post I will use the remaining paragraphs that will make up this write up to show you how to professionally implement these security features to improve your smartphone’s security against dangerous scammers and criminals who are looking for ways to use malware, phishing, and any other hacking technique to tamper with your phone even when the phone is stolen.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in.

1. Always lock down your phone behind a pin

pin code

It is quite easy to keep your phone secure when it’s in your hand. That makes the biggest threat to your personal details stored on your phone start immediately it gets lost or stolen. When this happens, anybody can access your phone right away, but when you lock your phone behind a pin, pattern or fingerprint recognition, the person finds it harder and has to go the extra mile to format/wipe the phone to access the contents, thus erasing all your details.

Locking your device behind a PIN has always been the best option. Forget the fingerprint recognition sensor and  facial id technology; on a bad day, somebody can just knock you off or get hold of your phone when you are fast asleep, and can easily access the contents of your phone by pushing your fingers into your fingerprint sensor, or placing the phone in front of your face in the case of facial id.

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A pin is the simplest, safest and the most reliable way to lock your device when you’re not using it. You have to be aware and awake for somebody to get your phones unlock pin.

2. Stay away from third-party app stores

Every smartphone has its official App store. Apple has Apple app store, and Google has Play store. We still have others that can be found online such as APKpure and so on. I will advise you to stay away from these third-party stores because, when a hacker comes up with malware, he will camouflage it under a known App like WhatsApp or claim that the App is doing something important that you’ve been searching for an app for.

When you download the app, the malware will creep out from its cover and mess up your phone. Sometimes this malware goes a long way to transfer your details to the hacker without your notice.

Google Play and Apple’s app store have mechanisms in place to detect these malicious apps and stop the developer right on his tracks from uploading the app to their store. All the apps present in these official stores undergo rigorous security testing before its being made available for download.

Rather than downloading apps from unofficial websites, get your apps from an official store such as the Google Play Store. All Android apps undergo rigorous security testing before appearing in the Google Play Store.

That means it is rare (though not unheard of) for a third party app to make its way onto the Google Play Store which has not been through security checks. However, apps from unofficial sources often include some malware or spyware in their code.

3. Install an antivirus app

Although I am not a fan to this point I just decided to put it up for people that might consider it an excellent idea, this is because sometimes the third party antivirus you install will weigh heavy on your phone and slow it down tremendously.

Android phones come with Google’s Play Protect which does an excellent job of scanning your device and keeping it clear from malware. But you can still go the extra mile if your wish by installing a third-party antivirus app that identifies known threats and prevents them from compromising your device or data.

There are some excellent, free of charge offerings like Avast Mobile Security & Antivirus, as well as affordable, paid-for apps from the likes of Trend Micro and Norton Mobile Security. These antiviruses also come with some other features like backing up your files and restoring it in case you want to clear your phone’s memory.

4. Turn off wireless connections that you’re not using

When you’re not using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, shut them off. Switching off your connectivities when they are not in use will reduce the avenues attackers will usually want to leverage to attack your phone and access your data—it will also help you conserve battery life.

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Disable your smartphone from automatically connecting to public hotspots; you never know when hackers are lying in wait, fully equipped to mess up with your phone through your connection. And when you do connect to a public Wi-Fi network, be careful about what information you access and share. For example, avoid doing your online banking at the local coffee shop.

5. Be careful of phishing

Phishing has always been the easiest way by which a hacker can get hold of your personal details. So many people have fallen victim to phishing by just clicking on a cloaked link and submitting their personal information on the page that showed up.

Be very careful when trying to access links within emails, text messages and also, phone calls asking for your personal data, passwords, and logins. These hackers have no chills at all.

One thing people that have fallen victim to phishing is that your bank or a responsible e-commerce site will not ask you to log in to your online profile from an email—if someone asks you to do so, you can be sure it’s a scam. If peradventure you are to do so, first check the link you clicked to open the login page, make sure that it’s the same with the official platform you are supposed to log in to.

They tend to cloak the link or make it look like it’s the official link, but when you look closely, it’s not. They will be directing you to a fake website that a criminal has set up to harvest passwords and logins.

Final bullet:

Your smartphone is a vital part of your life, to most of us, it is the closest piece of technology to us, more than our PCs. Thereby it contains a lot of things about is that we might not even know of. Secure it with everything you’ve got. Don’t fall victim to these scammers that are preying around trying to find who to practice their hacking skills on.

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