Ways to Secure Your Smartphone in 2021Vanessa Venugopal
There is a rise in mobile device users, as people prefer something convenient and can take with them wherever they go. Although, more desktop users spent more time on a website as compared to mobile device users. The number of mobile phones increased to 50.88% in 2020.
With the increase in numbers of mobile phone users, the number of threats or hackers increases too. Furthermore, hackers know that even businesses depend on mobile phones. Hence, more sensitive data they can access.
That is why protection is needed to secure your device, whether for your business or personal use. It is better to keep your data safe than trying to retrieve your stolen data.
In this article, we are going to provide ways you can protect your device from threats.
How to Secure Your Smartphone
Update Your Smartphone System or Application
Are you always receiving those annoying reminders to update your application or system? Well, there’s a reason why it keeps reminding you. Updates include critical patches for security holes. Often attacks like malware can take advantage of vulnerabilities in your device’s system or software. So, guard your smartphone by updating the OS and the applications present in your device.
Besides getting the best security when you update your device, regular updates enhance the performance and get new features.
Download Apps from Trusted Source
If you want a new game or application for your smartphone, always head on to Google Play Store or Apple Store to download an application. In addition, get to know what are signs an app is from a trusted source or not.
- Know how an application uses your personal information or what information it can access.
- Read about the reputations and reviews of the application. You can also look for how many times the app has been installed.
- Check for monthly data usage of your phone. If you notice an increase in its data usage, you might have downloaded an app containing malware. Malicious apps with adware perform in the background without the user knowing about it.
Avoid Connecting to Public Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi is everywhere. You can easily find them in shopping malls, airports, coffee shops, hotel rooms, restaurants, and more. Many people connect to public Wi-Fi because it’s free. But sometimes, free stuff can come with a prize.
Public Wi-Fis aren’t secure. Even if it requires registration or a password to log in, connecting to a wireless source shared with other people makes your device and data vulnerable.
Anyone can learn how to hack into a Wi-Fi connection. They can simply watch a video or get tools that can help them. So, don’t take the risk with public Wi-Fis, especially when you manage your company’s data, shop, or anything that has to do with money and sensitive information.
However, whether we like it or not, everyone is tied up with their smartphones. Most people use their phones all the time, and so, connecting online for free is something some cannot avoid.
Here are some simple ways you can go online with free Wi-Fi and not risk your data:
- Be wary of any link or Wi-Fi connection. Don’t assume or immediately consider that a Wi-Fi connection is legitimate. Ask the coffee shop, restaurant, or any place where you are using free Wi-Fi of the name and IP address to be sure.
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs are apps that will encrypt your data that goes in and out of the network. So, when cybercriminals are looking over your traffic, they won’t decipher the content.
- Don’t log in to websites that require you to input passwords or any sensitive information. Don’t perform any banking transaction with your smartphone or any device to prevent cybercriminals from seeing and stealing your data.
- Use Mobile Phone Network instead of connecting to public Wi-Fi. You can safely access sites that require sensitive information like online shopping, banking, and more.
VPN tools you might want to try:
- NordVPN: It is the most reliable and recommended VPN for smartphones. You’ll get uninterrupted streaming, 2048-bit encryption, it doesn’t keep track of data, and with over 3,500 servers across 61 locations.
- AVG Secure VPN: Available for both Android and iOS users. It provides online security by keeping your identity safe, hides your IP address, freedom to choose a virtual location, and an intuitive interface.
- ExpressVPN: Unlimited bandwidth, with 256-bit encryption, 1700 server in 94 countries, and DNS/IPv6 leak protection.
Use Strong Passwords
Using strong passwords to secure your accounts, smartphone, and applications can bring a lot of benefits. It can add an effective barrier to threats or hackers trying to access your account. So how to create a strong password?
- Think of unique passwords. Don’t use personal information that hackers can access, such as birthday, name of a pet, name of a family, and so on.
- Use more than 15 characters.
- Combine upper and lower cases, numbers, and symbols. The more you combined these characters on your passwords, the more effective passwords you’ll have.
- Don’t reuse or recycle passwords.
- Use a password manager to store your passwords, so you don’t have to forget them all of the time.
Password managers to remember your passwords:
- Dashlane: It can work for both individual and business use. You can save an unlimited number of passwords, access them anywhere, autofill when you log in, and monitors the data web for data breaches. It’s one of the most recommended password managers in the market. It’s available on Android and iOS too.
- 1Password: It protects individuals, businesses, and even families. With premium access, you can use it on multiple devices, send alerts if a password is weak, and utilizes 256-bit encryption. It also includes a Travel Mode feature that removes sensitive data when you cross borders.
- LastPass: You can avail of the premium version, but when it comes to free password managers, LastPass is your best option. The free version has features such as password vault, save and auto-fill passwords, suggest stronger passwords, and multi-factor authentication.
Install an Antivirus Software
Like your laptops or PCs, your smartphone requires an antivirus application to scan, detect, and remove threats in your device. It serves as the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your mobile phone.
You can go to your official application store to secure your smartphone with legitimate apps. You also can visit online retailers of security software to buy security apps that can secure your smartphone and multiple devices at once.
There are plenty of security applications available online and even for free. But here are a few smartphone applications you can try.
- Norton Antivirus: If you are looking for an affordable antivirus application to secure your smartphone, Norton security and antivirus family bring you the protection you need. From their Norton Antivirus Basic to Norton 360 Standard, these cheap Norton Antivirus applications can provide you with impressive features to secure your device. Get 24/7 protection, automatic updates, firewall protection, cloud backup, and more. Buy Norton Antivirus so you can use your smartphone anytime without worrying about threats.
- McAfee Security Solution: Whether you choose to secure your phone with McAfee Mobile Security from your official app store or get any McAfee solution, you’ll be provided with the ultimate protection you’ve been looking for. Enjoy anti-theft features for your missing device, scan Wi-Fi before connecting to it, and track app data usage. In addition, with McAfee, you can also protect your devices from online threats and even have unlimited VPN access. If you want to safeguard more than your mobile device, get a McAfee security solution that covers multiple devices.
- Panda Dome Security: Secure your Android and iOS with the security solution of Panda Dome. Protect from online threats, lock apps, get real-time protection, and wipe data remotely. You can also protect other devices when you opt for a Panda Dome security solution such as Advanced or Complete suite.
Never Jailbreak or Root your Phone
If you root or jailbreak your phone, it gives you the freedom to customize and install the apps you need. However, performing this to your mobile’s operating system brings consequences.
Jailbreaking or rooting your mobile phone is more prone to attacks. Malware can easily inject their codes into your device when you install any infected application. In addition, you won’t get the latest security update as your device has been replaced or separated from your phone’s manufacturer. So, you won’t get the security updates you need, making your device vulnerable to threats.
Back up Your Data
Back up your data frequently as possible. Since we may never know when or who can gain access and steal our phones, it is best to secure your smartphone content by backing them up.
Regular backup is essential. There are plenty of ways to back up your data. You can sync your phone’s content to your computer or online. This includes emails, contacts, documents, and images.
There are also security software applications that include the backup feature as part of their package. With the option to choose which part of your mobile phone you want to back up.
Implement the Two-factor Authentication
Aside from using a strong password, using two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of protection. Some may consider this an annoying step, but it offers an effective barrier for your phone, apps, and accounts.
The 2FA uses either a biometric scanner, a One-time Password (OTP), or PIN.
Never Click on Links
Hackers have multiple ways to access your data and device, and the most common way is by sending an email with a malicious link. Phishing scams are often opened by 30% of users, and 12% of those who opened the email, click on the malicious attachment.
Therefore, it is vital to know that you shouldn’t click on links, whether it is sent via email or text. Even if you have received content regarding your financial accounts, you shouldn’t click on the link. Always go straight to the website of your account by typing the web address on the browser.
There are security applications that also include features that can detect phishing links or attachments on your emails or sites.
Smartphones are used more than for entertainment or communication with friends and loved ones. Nowadays, it has become an essential part of businesses too. Hence, allowing access to more vital information. The more you use your smartphone to access sensitive data, the more reason you need to protect it. Hackers will always find a way to target those who are vulnerable to threats. So, get ahead of them this 2021 and secure your smartphone by following the tips mentioned above.