Safe Smartphone Data
Today, 83.72 percent of the world owns some sort of smartphone. This means that photos, voice notes, videos, messages, browse searches, social media information, banking details, and much more are all zipping to and from the phones of the majority of people on the planet via the internet all the time. Most of us don’t spend too much time thinking about data security; we just take it for granted that our phones and the information on them are safe…until we find out how not secure they are. People’s social media profiles get hacked, information is snatched from unlocked phones, and phones are stolen. At least some of the data on your smartphone is personal information that you wouldn’t share with anyone or wish to be made public. The evolution of smartphones means that we can now do most things that need doing from the tiny little computers in our hands; order clothing or groceries, pay bills and stay in touch with friends. If all the information that goes along with those processes is not well looked after and someone unscrupulous gets their hands on it, it could end in disaster.
To keep your phone and your data safe, we’ve got six top tips for you to make use of all day, every day.
Always Lock Your Screen
This one seems like a no-brainer, but so many of us forget the most straightforward safety tip of them all: always lock your screen. All smartphones offer several different lock and unlock methods and mechanisms, the most highly recommended of which is fingerprint scanning. We recommend that you scan in more than one of your fingerprints just to be safe. Set your automatic screen lock to a shorter period rather than a longer one; an unattended phone with an unlocked screen could spell disaster in the wrong hands.
Regularly Update Your Phone
Keeping all of your software updated is essential for your phone’s security, most notably any VPN or antivirus programs. So if you are accessing PayPal, each time you log in to PayPal with a VPN it is more secure than before. An out-of-date system is one that’s vulnerable to all sorts of malignant entities and individuals. Your phone and data are also vulnerable to hackers when everything is not running at top speed and in its most current format. You may also be susceptible to losing data due to program crashes or glitches if you don’t keep your updates running smoothly.
Use Strong Passwords
We know it’s a challenge to remember a large number of long and complicated passwords, but it’s for your own good, we promise! Using completely unique and individual passwords is the best way to avoid a hacker getting to your data or a thief getting into your phone. Keep a password sheet if you need to, but be sure you don’t forget the password to get into it! If you’re at a loss as to how to make a strong password, you can always use a password generator. Turning on two-factor authentication and using a reliable authenticator app can’t hurt either!
Only Download From Reliable Sites
Only use and download information from reliable, certified sites. The same goes for any apps you might download; only use apps trusted by the Play Store and the Apple Store. There are so many well-known and trusted apps these days that you should have no trouble finding a few versions of whatever you’re looking for in either of those stores. We know it’s tempting to try out the apps that offer free downloads or say they’ll work faster than anything you’ve ever tried before, but if it’s not an officially recognized app, we say avoid it at all costs.
Install an Antivirus
This should be another no-brainer, but unfortunately for us, we have become very complacent about both phone and computer security! While antivirus apps get a lot of flack for how much space they take up and how much they slow down your phone, ask yourself this question. Would you prefer to give up a little space on what’s probably a very spacious memory and give up a tiny bit of speed or lose some of your most personal and important data on a public internet connection at a coffee shop?
If you’re struggling to choose from the avalanche of antivirus programs, try out a few that offer free trials and see which ones work best for you.
Beware when Using Bluetooth
Make sure that your device is undiscoverable by turning your Bluetooth off when you’re not using it; this will also save your battery. Be extremely careful when connecting to a new device and make doubly sure that it’s the correct one before you connect, as letting strangers into your phone is a mistake you don’t want to make.
These tips are straightforward to implement. They cost little time and mostly very little money, but they can save you the pain and misery of losing private data or getting hacked.