As mobile phones become more and more important in our lives, the need to keep them safe and secure increases as well. Mobile phones are not only expensive, but we store valuable information on them, like contact numbers, addresses, passwords and even financial information. Losing our mobile phones or leaving them vulnerable to hacking can lead to identity theft, unauthorized use of your credit card and bank information, plus a plethora of other problems.
Do you know that an average of 300 phones are stolen in London per day? Worse still, do you know that people can harvest your personal information without your knowledge? Even if you keep your phone safe by your side, it is still vulnerable to hacking and identity theft. To keep your phones absolutely safe, here are some tips you can follow.
Keep your software updated
We all hate that annoying message that constantly reminds us to update our phone software. However, this is extremely necessary as the point of updates is to fix vulnerabilities in your mobile’s operating system. Each time hackers successfully find a loophole in your otherwise secure operating system, the manufacturers release a fix that counters it. If your software is not updated, its an open invitation to hackers to come and harvest your confidential information.
Lock screens and passwords
Lock screens are there for a reason – to keep prying eyes and restless hands away from your phone’s contents. Pattern unlocks are great, and they’re available on most models available nowadays. If you’re still using an older phone that doesn’t have a touch screen, you should definitely use a password. It might pose a slight inconvenience each time you use your phone, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Install an Antivirus
It’s common sense to install an antivirus on your computer, and the same concept should apply to your mobile phone. While mobile phone viruses are rarer compared to their desktop counterparts, they still exist and they’re as deadly too. If you’re using the Apple OS, you’re safer because Apple restricts the kind of apps you install on your mobile phone. Since the Android OS is open source, there’s a chance you might download something malicious. Consider getting McAfee or AVG for your phone to combat this.
Use security apps
Aside from using a security lock to use your phone, you can have an additional layer of security for certain files or apps on your phone. For example, you can download vault apps to secure your messages or picture gallery. You can set additional security parameters to specific folders too.
Jailbreaking, or accessing your OS source code to unlock everything, is common among users, especially owners of Apple phones. Since Apple only allows you to download apps that are available on the Apple store, users jailbreak their phone so they can download whatever app they want. However, manufacturers set limits for a reason – there are a lot of apps out there from untrusted sources that may contain malicious code. Hackers use these apps to get into the mobile phones of users so they can harvest personal information.