With the growing reports about malware attacks and data breaches, protecting your cell phone from hackers has become a priority for everyone. You can take some simple steps to secure your phone, improve your password, and protect your data. Although nothing is fool-proof, a little bit of know-how will definitely increase your chances of hack-proofing your phone.
Securing Your Phone
1. Keep your operating system up-to-date.
Whenever Apple or Android informs about an update is ready, instantly download and install it. Many hackers take benefits of vulnerabilities of the out-dated OS. Updates will patch these holes making your phone more secure.
2. Install Security Software
You should also install security software on your Android phone. After reading recommendations from trustworthy sources like Consumer Reports and opt for Avast, which provides security and malware protection. If may also opt for McAfee or Norton if you have a bigger budget.
3. Set a Password
Keep your security software password-protected, if possible. Set a passcode. Select a complex yet easy to remember. Do not go for pets’ name, date of birth or phone numbers.
Keep your code of six digits, four digits, or an alphanumeric code.
iOS software is difficult to hack. For an Android phone, go to menu button from the home screen, hit “Settings,” then “Security,” and finally “Screen Lock.” The actual words may differ as per your phone’s brand name. You can select between personal PIN, Pattern Unlock, or an alphanumeric password. Now select how long you want your phone to wait before locking.
4. Vet Apps Properly
Download apps only from a reputable site or the official site like Apple’s App Store or iTunes. When it comes to the Android phone, read reviews from Consumer Reports, Wired, or CNET before downloading any third-party apps.
5. Remember how to control your phone remotely.
Settings or apps can help you remotely lock your phone if it’s stolen. For a new phone, you can control your iPhone through “Find My Phone” in iCloud. Through your Google account, you can secure your Android phone remotely.
For an older iPhone, download the Find My iPhone app from iTunes. You can also download Find My Phone for older Android models and both the app are free.
6. Avoid Using Unsecured Wi-Fi Connections
Just be alert using unsecured Wi-Fi connections. AS unsecured connections don’t have lock icons near their listings. Avoid such connection, and use your phone’s secure mobile connection. Install a virtual private network (VPN), which sends your traffic through encrypted connections. Even using a VPN, do not access your bank account or vital records on an unsecured connection.
Secured connections provide a lock icon, found across from the name of the network.
7. Disable Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS when not in Use
All these tools allow a hacker to track your phone with a simple scan. Follow the instructions in your support section of the phone manufacturer’s website. Make sure these settings have defaulted to the “on” mode on newer phones.
8. Avoid Simple Unlocking Process
Do not go for fingerprint or facial recognition. It can easily be copied from drinking glasses or by using your photographs. Don’t set your phone to automatically unlock when you’re at home. If someone gets a hold of your smartwatch, your phone will be vulnerable.
9. Protect Your Data
It is not a good idea to disclose too much personal info on social media. It’s okay using your real name for networking but don’t go beyond it. Do not disclose your phone no, address or mother’s maiden name.
Delete personal information from your phone. Delete photos as it can tell a lot about you, allowing a potential hacker to steal your identity. Better transfer your photos and any sensitive text-based files to your laptop or desktop computer.
Never open suspicious emails. Just clicking the link can give the sender a gateway into your personal information. Delete it if you don’t recognize the sender. Do not send personal information from your phone. If you receive confidential information, delete it after reading it.
Keep backup your data. Save them to your desktop or laptop computer. Take backup data on an external hard drive. You should also invest in an automated backup system that will save you the time of copying and emailing individual files if you have large data on your phone.