Smartphones have become irreplaceable gadgets in everyday living. People do everything on their smartphones. Communicate with loved ones, save meaningful pictures, and keep sensitive personal or work-related files.
With this level of usage, smartphone users must take the security of their devices very seriously. This article will explain the main dangers smartphone users face. Then, we will outline six easy steps you can take to bolster the security of your device.
Main dangers with smartphones
Smartphone users face several security threats. Data leakage is a legitimate concern with mobile apps. Granting extensive permissions to all sorts of apps can put your personal data at risk. Even popular apps on official stores are guilty of exploiting their users for data mining.
Mobile devices are also prone to all mainly computer-related threats. These include phishing, network attacks, malware, etc.
Lastly, let’s not forget about the risk of losing your device. You then have no control over who gets to it and has full access to everything inside.
Boosting your smartphone security in 6 steps
1. Set a strong passcode
The passcode is the first authentication step for someone trying to unlock your smartphone. Make sure to make their job as difficult as possible by making it strong. Some people don’t even have the passcode enabled, which is a big no-no. To boost passcode strength, it’s best to use random numbers rather than birthdates or other personally identifiable information (PII).
2. Enable biometric authentication
Biometric authentication is the next step in the evolution of smartphone security. It uses a human element, such as a fingerprint or face scan, to authenticate the device’s user. There’s no reason not to enable biometric authentication on top of your passcode. Modern smartphones have made unlocking your phone very easy, just by using your fingerprint or face. This will make it impossible for anyone other than you to unlock your phone.
3. Update your device
Smartphone manufacturers are constantly under threat of cyber criminals. Thus, they’re very active in constantly rolling out updates to address known vulnerabilities. Make sure to install these updates for your operating systems and the apps you use. To make it easier, enable automatic updates.
4. Use a VPN on public networks
Public networks are a big threat to smartphone users. These networks often have very poor security, allowing threat actors to do all kinds of damage. Networks found in coffee shops or other public places rarely use encryption and are easily accessible to anyone.
One workaround for this is to always use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when connected to public WiFi. This will encrypt your connection, preventing others from doing any damage.
5. Review app permissions
Most people breeze through the app permission pop-ups when installing new apps. While you don’t have to read the whole thing, you should at least skim through it. Avoid installing apps that ask for too much data or access.
6. Back up your data
Due to their size and frequency of use, smartphones are constantly at risk of being lost or stolen. If that happens, you want a safety net that allows you to recover your data. Modern smartphones have excellent cloud features that let you backup your most important data on the cloud.
Virtual data storage apps make it easy to back up your data, allowing you to access it from anywhere and from any device. These apps have complex encryption, using advanced algorithms and techniques to secure data and communication channels.
As with all digitally connected devices, smartphones, too, have some security threats you must be aware of. Malicious apps and websites are all over the internet and even on official app stores. So, becoming infected with malware isn’t a rare occasion. Follow the six steps in this article to bolster your smartphone security and minimize risk.