Computer hackers have done very well for themselves in the past by stealing online users’ personal information. And, with almost half of the global population now using smartphones, it is understandable that hackers’ collective focus is quickly shifting to mobile devices.
After all, the 44% of the world’s people using smartphones are essentially carrying around miniature computers.
So, with hackers now aggressively targeting smartphones, how do mobile device users make sure they are protected? Here are a few ways in which you can make your smartphone harder to hack:
How to Keep Your Smartphone Secure
- Install an Anti-Virus App: As we mentioned in the first part of this look at mobile security, some phones tend to respond better to anti-virus apps than others. Apple feels that these apps undermine the inherent security of iOS phones, while Google Play offers a plethora of anti-virus apps for Android devices. You can compare the apps of Office 365 vs Google Apps here.
But, a good rule of thumb here is to choose the best security solutions possible for your device, and make sure to keep it updated.
- Beware of Free Wi-Fi: While free Wi-Fi is great, and is a real life-saver if you’re low on mobile data, beware of public connections. The problem is that these networks are unprotected, which means that your smartphone is easily identifiable and, naturally, hackable.
- Don’t Modify Your Phone: Device modification – referred to as rooting or jailbreaking – is popular amongst some users because it gives them more control over the phone’s capabilities. Essentially, using a modified device is a bit like using Windows as an administrator.
But, the problem with this is that apps downloaded to modified devices have more access to the operating system. So, malware is able to go much deeper and cause much more damage.
- Browse with Care: We have been talking almost exclusively about malicious apps, but there are so many of websites that can compromise your smartphone’s security. So, in addition to avoiding apps from third-party providers, it is a good idea to stay away from links that seem suspicious.
- Consider Encryption: Hackers don’t always opt for completely digital theft. Many find stealing personal information exceedingly easier when they have your smartphone in hand. After all, you might have your personal details saved on the phone, or on its removable memory card.
For this reason it makes a lot of sense to encrypt your phone. In this case, if it is stolen, retrieving your personal information becomes a great deal harder for the thief.
Use Common Sense for Mobile Security
You might find going to these lengths a touch extreme, but they’re worth it for the sake of protecting your personal details. And, if you don’t use all these tips, at least exercise caution when downloading apps and only visit trusted websites.
Or, if you find certain apps too enticing to deny, download a good antivirus. At the very worst, all you’ll sacrifice is a little bit of system performance.