Smartphones are the center of our lives. If you phone gets lost or damaged today, chances are high you will lose many deals, or important information. Many of us have a habit of keeping our personal details in our phones because whenever we need such information, the phone will always be nearby. So, if the phone gets infected or stolen, you may be in for a lot of trouble.
Lately, advancement in technology has left many electronic devices in high risk. Malicious parties are always on the lookout for less secure devices to fish out important data from them. It’s therefore imperative that you know some of the simplest ways you can secure device and keep your sensitive data intact.
5 simple steps to keep your smartphone safe and secure
- Use key lock code/PIN
A recent research showed that many people don’t use PINs and key lock codes to secure their smartphones. If it gets lost or left unattended, you give strangers access to all your vital information. This may result in the phone being used to make unwanted calls or to register for illegal services. This could result in you being dragged into federal cases and being penalized for accessing restricted places.
All smartphones allow you to secure them with either a pattern or a PIN. A pattern is a shape you draw on the screen in order to access a phone. This method is simple, faster and hassle free. You can also use a PIN with four or more numbers to restrict access to your device. Avoid using simple numbers like 1234 or 0000. Sometimes even your year of birth is not advisable. Choose something that will be hard to guess.
Screen locks are also helpful but if your SIM card is not secured with a PIN, it can be used in another phone to make unwanted calls. The use of PIN and key lock renders your phone useless to the thief unless they flash its memory and clear it of all your data.
- Protect sensitive data
Passwords, screen locks and PINs prevent your handheld device from being accessed but doesn’t protect your data completely. Smartphones have internal and removable memory slots that can be plugged in a computer and your files read or transferred. Thankfully, there are many types of software that can bar sensitive files from being viewed or copied.
Security software may require a code to be entered for one to read or copy files. The software is free for download and once installed, all your data will be secured. In addition to this type of security, most tech experts advise storing sensitive data on secure online servers.
- Watch your wireless and other hotspots
All smartphones have an option of connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots. This feature helps to save on data usage by allowing you to surf the internet using public wi-fi. Make sure the hotspot you are connected on doesn’t allow sending of information across the airwaves. This is big security concern. Always switch off your Wi-Fi when not in use to avoid a malicious party sending infected files to your device.
The most common threat that public hotspot users face is termed the “evil twin” attack. This is where a malicious party sets up a Wi-Fi hotspot that looks exactly like that of a legitimate firm to lure unsuspecting internet lovers to connect to it. Normally, they will ask vital info like your credit card number as a password. You don’t even need to be vigilant to know this is a trap. Steer clear from hotspots that ask personal information.
- Get your apps from trusted sources
Before you even install an app, some phones will let you know if it comes from untrusted source. Apps from untrusted sources can give hackers leeway into your device and this may get you into trouble. Read the comment section first to see if there are serious complaints about the app before downloading it.
Stick to applications from Android’s Google Play Store or iPhone’s Apple store if you must download an app.
- Restrict Bluetooth Use
If you are not using your Bluetooth, make sure it’s off. Also, ensure you set your Bluetooth to “allowed devices only” so it doesn’t connect to any other device near you.