From viruses and Trojans to phishing, mobile adware, spyware, and browser exploits, cybersecurity threats targeted at mobile devices continue to be a big problem that threatens data privacy.
With everyone right from business owners to employees across all levels using mobile devices to access company files, the stakes are higher than ever before. Basic protection just won’t cut it. Cybersecurity, and especially as pertains explicitly to mobile devices, is too important not to invest your time and other resources towards achieving.
That said, here is a rundown of some of the top tips to bear in mind to protect your phone from cyber threats.
1. Set Secure Passwords
Mr. Snuggles, your cat pet’s name may be easy to remember, but a hacker could easily guess that password. Easy to remember shouldn’t be the only criterion you use when setting your passwords.
Go for a long-string password of at least eight characters. Combine letters, symbols, and numbers to create a password that’s not easy to guess. The more random this combination, the harder it will be to crack.
Again, you should avoid using the same password across the different apps you have on your phone. This way, in the unfortunate event that a hacker does manage to crack the password on one app, the rest will remain secure.
2. Secure With Other Lock Options
There are other lock options you can use instead of, or in tandem with passwords. Depending on your mobile device’s capabilities, leverage on the additional protection that comes with a lock screen pattern as well as fingerprint and face recognition.
For lock screen, choose the shortest time possible. Even if you forget to lock the phone yourself, you’ll be safe because the phone will not take long to do so itself.
3. Install A Trusted Security Software
Think mobile antivirus software. This feature-rich software will not only protect your mobile device against viruses, but it will also keep you safe from hacking attempts.
There are other mobile security software that comes with capabilities such as making it possible to lock your device remotely, or the ability to delete data remotely, otherwise known as remote wipe. These capabilities come in handy in instances when you are sure that your device has already ended up in the wrong hands.
4. Watch Your App Downloads
Cyber attackers have taken to developing dangerous apps that mimic the real thing. To be on the safe side, verify the app developer before downloading any apps. Look at user reviews and the date when the app was last updated.
Consider sticking to official channels such as the developer’s website or Google’s PlayStore and Apple’s App Store when downloading an app. Both conduct thorough vetting before allowing these apps onto their platforms.
What kind of access is the app requesting during installation? Be wary of apps that ask you to allow access to certain features on your phone. If you see this red flag, uninstall and delete the app immediately.
5. Update Your Software
Ensure that your mobile device’s OS is up-to-date. These software updates sometimes contain security patches that fix any vulnerabilities that may be present in your current version.
Updating your software is as easy as just following the prompts that come your way. The process usually takes all of just a few moments to complete.
6. Manage Your Bluetooth And Wireless Connections
Bluejacking, Bluesnarfing, and Bluebugging are some of the common cyber-attacks that happen over Bluetooth. If you are not using this technology, best to turn it off, which will not only protect you from potential attacks but will also help preserve your battery. If you are using Bluetooth on your mobile, then best to adjust your discoverability profile.
As with Bluetooth, turn off all wireless connections that you are not actively using. Also, adjust your settings to avoid automatic connections when you are within the acceptable range.
Disconnect immediately if your attempts to connect to a network are met with requests for information that you would not class as typical.
Lastly, the best way to stay safe when on a public network is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN.) Others on the network will not be able to access your private information or location details.
7. Encrypt Your Data
Some phones come with encryption settings, while others don’t. If yours belongs in the first group, then you can enable the encryption settings from your security menu. There are also a number of encryption software, free and premier, that you can use on your phone.
There are certainly more options to explore for additional protection of your phone from cyber threats. With permission and access control, avoiding dangerous apps, updating software, managing connections and data encryptions, you can secure your phone beyond what passes for basic protection.