Updated October 13th, 2022.
Today, everyone owns a phone, but many people are not taking the precautionary steps to keep their phone secure. You can keep your phone secure by implementing cybersecurity solutions such as password management and by being cautious of mobile security vulnerabilities which include the use of public WiFi.
Smartphones are vulnerable to a wide range of monitoring threats. With their built-in GPSs, cameras, microphones and connectivity to a world of cloud services, they are the best snooping devices ever invented. Knowing the scope of the threat they pose can help you protect yourself. Read on to learn more about the ways you can protect your phone from security threats and vulnerabilities.
Always Keep Your Phone Locked
Keeping your phone locked with a strong passcode is one of the simplest ways you can protect your phone from intruders. This is extremely important to implement, especially if you were ever to misplace, lose or get your phone stolen. By having your phone locked with a passcode, you’ll prevent anyone from physically being able to get into your phone which contains all sorts of private information, such as messages and credit card numbers. It can be particularly dangerous to not have a passcode on your phone if you have Apple Pay or Google Pay set up – making it easy for the cybercriminal to purchase things using your information.
Only Download Apps From Trusted Stores
Downloading apps from trusted app stores is particularly important for Android users since Android devices are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Their vulnerability is due to their dependence on open-source code – meaning that Android users can modify the operating system of their devices. Too much modification and users risk compromising the security of their devices.
Limit downloads to known app stores or branded organizations that you know and trust. Some trusted app stores include the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The app store you decide to download from depends on whether you are using an Android or iOS device.
Set Strong, Unique Passwords For All Your Accounts
Making sure that all of your accounts have secure passwords is essential to keeping your device protected from cybercriminals. By reusing the same password or variations of the same password for all your accounts, you’re setting yourself up to be at a much bigger risk of becoming compromised. You can easily create strong, unique passwords with a password management solution. A password manager allows you to track, store, protect, share and manage all your passwords within a secure digital vault while only having to memorize one password to access the rest of them.
Creating your passwords does not have to be a lengthy or difficult process. A password manager does the hard part for you and gives you peace of mind that all your accounts are secure.
Back-up Your Data
If your phone were to ever get breached by an attacker, there is the possibility of getting your data stolen. Whether it be a ransomware attack or your data gets completely erased from your phone, you need to be able to access your data again. Not to mention, there are also other circumstances that could wipe the data from your phone such as human error, hardware failure, losing it or getting it stolen. This is why it’s critically important that you always have your data, photos and videos backed up in cloud-based secure file storage.
Secure file storage allows you to securely store all your important files and documents in one place. You can easily access it from anywhere and despite what happens to your phone, you’ll always have access to your data.
Keep Your Phone Up-to-date
Updating your phone whenever a new update becomes available is critical to ensuring the security and reliability of your phone. These updates add essential features, remove bugs and patch security flaws. By ignoring update notifications on your phone, you’re putting your cybersecurity at risk. You should always set aside time to update your phone and other devices to keep them up to date.
Don’t Click Links in Text Messages Unless You Know the Sender
Phishing attempts have become increasingly common nowadays, so anyone with a phone must be vigilant in identifying phishing text messages and emails that target them. If you receive a text message from a contact you don’t have saved and you are unsure about who it may be, be cautious of clicking any links or attachments they may have sent. These links and attachments can trigger a malware infection, leading to your private information being stolen.
Consider Using Encrypted Messaging Services
Encrypted messaging services are messaging apps that allow you to send private messages to anyone. It provides end-to-end encryption for messages and prevents anyone but the sender or receiver from monitoring those text messages.
KeeperChat is a secure messaging service that is included for free with a Keeper personal plan. It comes with features such as being able to retract a message or “self-destruct” a message, without a trace. If you’re someone who wants to keep their messages private, an encrypted messaging service should be something you consider implementing.
Try Not to Utilize Public WiFi
Utilizing public WiFi from any device poses a threat to your online security. One of the most common cyberattacks that occurs while on public WiFi is the man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack. MITM attacks involve the manipulation of networks or the creation of malicious networks under the control of cybercriminals. During this type of cyberattack, the attacker attempts to intercept the data between those involved. The ultimate goal is to intercept the data being sent and use it for malicious purposes. Because anyone can connect to a public WiFi network, you have no idea who may be watching and waiting to intercept your data.
Although public WiFi is convenient when traveling or doing work from a cafe, it’s important to know the threat that it poses to your online security. Implementing strong passwords, utilizing VPN and enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) on your phone are vital if you want to utilize public WiFi securely.