Smartphones are not impervious to malware and devious hackers. Letting your guard down can lead to security breaches. Your phone houses your contacts, apps containing personal information, access to emails, and possibly banking information. To be sure your data is not compromised, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself and your phone.
1. Install antivirus software.
This is not something most people think of, but it is the best way to make sure your phone does not pick up any malware or viruses. There are a variety of apps, depending on your operating system, that can help you with this. Many are free, which should be even more appealing. Check out your appstore for options, and pay attention to user reviews.
2. Lock your phone.
Physical dangers are just as bad as digital ones. Lock your phone using a pin number or one of the other security methods found on your smartphone. This does not require that you download anything new. This is a feature on all smartphones and one of the easiest security methods to implement.
3. Update as often as you are prompted.
Your phone’s OS is always making changes so that your phone works better overall. These updates fix battery life issues, security holes, and many other factors. Be aware of these and update when your phone asks you to.
4. Be aware of the security of sites you are visiting.
Some sites are safer than others. If your phone uses Chrome as a web browser, you will sometimes be alerted to the possible malware on the site. Also, try not to click hyperlinks from other websites. You’re flying blind when you do this. You have no idea where those links may take you.
5. Log out.
If you are logging into an app or into a secure system through web portal, be sure to log out. It’s a good habit to have so that you do not leave sensitive information open to predators. Whether it’s your bank or Facebook, it’s smart to log out.
6. Keep credit card and banking info off your phone.
Do not save any sensitive information to documents or text files on your phone. You’re asking for trouble by doing this. There are safer ways to digitally save this kind of information, but sometimes it may just be a better idea to write it down or memorize it.
7. Turn off your Bluetooth.
With your Bluetooth turned on, anyone with Bluetooth can access your phone. It’s not a perfect tool. So, when you’re not using it, turn it off.