Thursday, October 21, 2021
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7 Ways to Secure Your Smartphone and Keep Hackers at Bay

Whether you have an Android device or an iPhone, don’t let yourself believe that you have the most secure device in the world. Hackers are tirelessly working towards cracking the operating system loopholes so don’t take chances.

There are still so many apps that don’t apply security patches. Even big vendors are on the list. I don’t have many extra apps on my phone. I use the Spectrum TV app to watch movies using one of their top Waco packages. I am glad they are extra careful about implementing security patches.

But you cannot just rely on the vendors and your phone’s security. You must go the extra mile to implement cybersecurity measures to protect your smartphone. These are some steps to get started with:

1: Update Your Phone’s OS and Apps

If you are ignoring your Operating System updates and app updates, stop doing that immediately. This will open doors for data breaches.

Hackers are well aware of system vulnerabilities. The longer you wait to update, the more you are exposed to threats.  You will be an easy target for hackers.  It’s not just average consumers, companies that encourage BYOB must encourage their employees to regularly update their operating systems and apps in use.

2: Lock Your Devices

Never leave your phone unattended without locking it. We have our pictures, emails, personal information, contacts, and banking information on our devices. On top of that, if your smartphone has client information and some unauthorized users get access to it because you left your device unlocked, this can be very embarrassing. You might have to pay a heavy price for it.

Make sure you have a 4 to 6 digit passcode to protect your phone. Forget about patterns, they are easy to decode. If your device supports it, use fingerprint scanning and facial identification.

3: Install Anti-Virus

Besides updating the OS and apps, you must use anti-virus software. It will run periodic scans and block malicious content from downloading or opening itself in your device. There is no need to buy premium anti-virus programs. The freeware versions are effective too.

4: Use Two-Factor Authentication

It’s high time we start using two-factor authentication. You can do that for your google services. Log into your Google account and visit the settings page. There is a 2-step verification menu there. Click on that and follow the prompts provided.

You will be asked to enter your number. You can get your verification code through voice or SMS. Once the two-factor verification is on, Google will ask for verification every time you access Google services from a new device.

5: Turn Off the Connections When Not In Use

You don’t use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth all the time, right? Then turn them off. This doesn’t just save battery life but keeps you from getting attacked. Bluetooth hackers are still active and they are waiting to wreck your day. Don’t let them get you.

Apart from this, stay away from connecting your device to open or free Wi-Fi networks. This is a route to bring malicious content into your device.

6: Uninstall All Unused Apps

Each app has its own security vulnerabilities. Even though you update them, they are not fully protected. The best approach to uninstall all such apps from your device that you no longer use. The fewer apps you will have, the less vulnerable your device will be.

7: Use a Password Manager

A password manager has a lot to do with the security of your device. Most of us are really bad at generating passwords. We prefer using the same password for all our accounts, which is not a safe practice at all.

For those who have a hard time memorizing new passwords, use a password manager. It saves all your passwords in one place. Some password managers also help create unique passwords so this problem will be solved as well. LastPass, Dashlane, and 1Password are some of the best password managers.

8: Manage App Permissions

Always check the privileges an app asks for when you download it on your phone. Usually, apps ask for permission to access contacts, microphone, camera, and location. Check what permissions are you ok with. Feel free to revoke those that are not necessary. If you cannot install an app without agreeing to all permissions, it’s best not to install it in the first place.

For iPhone

  • Go to the Settings of your phone
  • Tap Privacy. This will show you a list of apps and permissions granted to each one of them

For Android

  • Go to Settings >> Device>> Application Manager
  • Manage the apps and their permissions from there

9: Wipe Clean Your Device Before Selling

If you are about to sell your device or even passing it onto a family member, you must wipe it clean. If it’s an iPhone, don’t just factory set it, remove your iPhone from Apple account. Unpair your iPhone from Apple watch, sign out of all Apple accounts. Create a backup and then erase all the content and settings.

The same goes for your Android phone. Remove all Google accounts from your device, generate a backup of your data, and then factory set it.

I make sure I am careful with the apps I use and what networks I connect to. I never use an open Wi-Fi network to pay my bill through the Spectrum mobile payment service or even check my emails. If you had been neglecting these measures, start implementing them straight away to keep your device secure.

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