Mobile devices have become a significant part of our everyday lives. People use their phones to store passwords, personal information, photos, videos, and emails. It’s fair to say that the phone is the key to a person’s life. Because of that, you must keep your mobile device secure and prevent unauthorized access.
Here are 10 simple things you can do to improve your mobile device’s security today:
Only download apps from official sources
Apps can significantly boost your phone’s capabilities. But they can also be an attack vector. Hackers can use app spoofing to hide malware behind a popular app. Since Apple and Google are pretty strict about the apps they allow on their stores, the only way hackers can spread spoofed apps is through third parties. That’s why you should only download apps from the App Store or Play Store.
Limit app permissions
When installing apps, please pay close attention to the permissions you’re giving them. Limit the permissions to only allow what the app needs to perform its core functionalities. If you notice any suspicious permission requests, stop the installation process and verify the app’s legitimacy.
Use strong passwords
When setting up your mobile accounts, protect them with strong passwords. Short and easy passwords may be more convenient, but they also make it easier for hackers to penetrate your accounts. If you’re afraid you’ll forget your passwords, download a special app that will store them all for you.
Never root your device
Rooting (Jailbreaking on iPhone) your phone gives you much more freedom, bypassing the safeguards set by the manufacturer. This sounds exciting, which is why so many people do it, but it’s also very dangerous. Rooting your phone will not only void its warranty but will also prevent you from installing future software updates. These updates are crucial for your device’s security.
Download the latest software updates
Hackers are constantly finding vulnerabilities to exploit. Android and Apple are playing a never-ending cat and mouse game to address vulnerabilities through software updates. These updates contain essential security patches and bug fixes. Enable automatic software updates to install them as soon as they become available.
Back up your data
Downloading malware can destroy your device and wipe all of its data. Replacing your device is easy, but you can’t restore lost data. That’s why you should back up all important data from your phone, either on the cloud, laptop, or another external device.
Avoid public Wifi
Although convenient and free, public Wifi is also dangerous. Your activity on these networks is often unencrypted, meaning that anyone capable enough can see what you’re doing. Threat actors can easily obtain sensitive information like usernames and passwords by tracking your activity on unencrypted networks. One secure way to use public networks is through a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
Turn Bluetooth off when not in use
Unless you’re actively using Bluetooth, always keep it turned off. When Bluetooth is on, it opens your device up to a world of external vulnerabilities. Hackers can scan for Bluetooth devices in the area and use hacking tools to determine a device’s operating system, Bluetooth version, and other helpful info for an attack.
Always keep your screen locked
Keeping your screen locked is more of a physical security measure, but it’s important nonetheless. You don’t want people being able to access your phone if you lose it or if someone steals it. Lock it with a PIN or newer authentication methods found in modern phones: Touch ID or Face ID.
Install antivirus software
Antivirus software isn’t as popular on mobile as on desktop, but that doesn’t mean it’s ineffective. It’s a great tool to ensure your device stays clean. The antivirus will scan all present and incoming files and block suspicious files from being saved on your device.
Mobile devices are becoming the hottest attack vector for hackers. Implementing a few simple measures is all it takes to significantly boost the security of your device. The key takeaway from this article is to be wary of the files and apps you download. Use strong passwords and modern authentication methods to prevent unauthorized access to your device.