Level up your phone security by fixing these five common mistakes
Chances are, your smartphone is the last thing you put down at night, and the first thing you pick up in the morning. Smartphones have truly grown to become an integral part of everyday life, cradling nearly every facet of our lifestyles—work, relationships, recreation—within its bezels.
Smartphones spell an unmatched level of convenience for those whose lives are in a constant loop of work and play. These store information without necessarily needing backups and make all our photos, videos, notes and sometimes even our passwords, accessible from the cloud. With our lives so deeply entangled with our smartphones, there’s no question about it: security needs to be the top priority.
Keep your mobile banking information, corporate files, personal photos and conversations safe and secure by avoiding these habits that could put your prepaid phone at risk.
Ignoring security updates
Beyond the camera quality and the Instagram factor, software is what makes your phone valuable to you. Think about it, without its operating systems (OS) and the capability to run applications, what good does it serve? The software upgrades are often what define a new smartphone model’s selling point.
Developers continuously improve mobile operating systems and apps, which means if you don’t bother updating to the latest version with patched up security measures, you’re putting your phone at risk of security bugs, errors and other vulnerabilities. Next time you get those pesky software update notifications, be sure to pay attention!
Leaving Bluetooth on All the Time
Here’s some tech trivia: did you know that hackers can access your device remotely and steal your personal data via Bluetooth?
That’s right. If you’re a heavy Bluetooth-enabled device user (for a smartwatch and Bluetooth earphones), you’re going to want to play it safe. While hackers can’t make any brute attacks through bluejacking, they can certainly send victims unsolicited files and messages. You can prevent this from happening to you by changing your device settings to hidden, invisible or non-discoverable.
Connecting to Public Wi-Fi
We all love a good Wi-Fi-enabled area. There’s nothing like being able to log on to social media to check-in or scroll through the feed without having to use up your own data. However, once you connect to open and unprotected networks, you’re immediately putting your phone’s data security at risk.
Sharing the same network with attackers allows hijacking by intercepting the traffic between the public Wi-Fi and your apps. One way to avoid this is by sticking to what you know is secure, like your phone’s data connection or networks like WPA2 encryption. Another option: portable Wi-Fi devices.
Skipping the Android anti-virus
Smartphones are essentially mini, palm-sized computers, so it only makes sense that they, too, are sensitive to malware risks. If you can manage to install apps on your phone, then consider installing an antivirus software on your Android device (iPhones are said to be anti-malware to begin with!).
Installing an antivirus on your phone can also help you steer clear of transferring any virus to your other devices via USB. Additionally, an anti-theft software can stop anyone from accessing your phone if it ever gets stolen.
Relying on autofill forms and staying logged in
If you’re guilty of online shopping over these months indoors, it’s likely that you have your personal details saved on apps or your browser. This very function, the browser autofill, is a data security risk in itself.
Determined attackers hide invisible boxes on web pages, allowing the browser to fill every field provided with a single click of the auto-fill button. This allows them to gain more information than you think. You might only see a name and email field when subscribing to a new site, but there could be hidden boxes asking for your address, mobile number and other personal info.
A password, PIN, swipe lock or face recognition system aren’t always enough. There are other ways attackers can break into your smartphone—all it takes is a little extra effort to amplify your phone security and prevent the worst from happening.