7 Steps You Should Take Now to Keep Your Smart Phone Secure
Smart phones are an integral part of our lives today. Because smart phones are so intertwined into our day-to-day life, they also tend to serve as a popular doorway for hackers who want to covertly and illegally enter into people’s lives and gain access to people’s confidential data for nefarious purposes. If you think about all the different types of mobile malware that can possibly infect your smart phone, you’ll realize just how important it is for you to take urgent steps to secure your phone. You can learn in depth about mobile malware attacks in this article: "About Mobile Malware Attacks".
As a concerned smart phone owner, following are some steps that you can take to ensure greater security for your mobile phone:
1. Keep Your Operating System and Mobile Apps Updated
Do you ignore or procrastinate complying with the update notifications that your mobile OS and apps show you? You might want to change this habit right away, because not updating the operating system and mobile apps is one of the leading causes of malware attacks in mobile phones. These updates may not only install new features and enhancements, but also patch up any security problems that may currently exist in the OS/application. An outdated operating system or mobile application won’t be any good for your mobile phone.
2. Encrypt the Important Data Stored on You Phone
If you use your smart phone to store critical data, such as important work related files and documents or your banking related information, then you should use encryption to ensure advanced security for this data. When you encrypt your data, it will become impossible for anyone to read the data without the code. Hence, even if a hacker does manage to launch a successful malware attack on your phone, they still won’t be able to get to your important data. You should check if your mobile phone device offers you the option to encrypt your phone’s data as an in-built feature.
3. Always Keep the Phone Under Lock and Key
No, we aren’t asking you to literally put your phone under lock and key! We’re only advising you to always lock the screen of your mobile device. If you can’t remember to lock the screen, set the device to auto-lock after few seconds of inactivity. In case your device is stolen, you’ll at least have the assurance that the thief won’t be able to get into the locked device. There are multiple sophisticated locking mechanisms offered by the modern mobile devices. But, sticking to the plain old PIN code or alphanumeric password is still arguably the best way to lock your phone. In addition to locking the device, you also want to lock your SIM card. That way neither the device nor the SIM card can be misused in any way by the thief.
4. Do Monitor the Access Permissions for All Your Apps
While you should be attentive regarding the access permissions that you’re giving to an app at the time of downloading itself, it’s not something that you may think about carefully when you’re in a hurry to install and start using the app. This is why you want to go over the access permissions that all your mobile apps currently have from time to time. This way you’ll know what your old as well as new mobile apps can access on your phone. By keeping an eye on the app access permissions, you can ensure that a given app is not accessing any more of your mobile phone than it needs to.
5. Use Anti-Malware Solution for Thwarting Attacks In Time
Anti-malware software solutions aren’t just needed for your desktop computers and laptops, they are equally needed for your mobile devices such as smart phone too. Mistakes do happen; you might click on a malicious link sent to you via a phishing email or you might unknowingly download a mobile app that’s actually a malware. If you have a good anti-malware installed, then the anti-malware may detect and thwart these malware attacks before it’s too late, and thus protect your device.
6. Ensure That Your Device Data is Backed Up Securely
Data loss is inconvenient to say the least. It might undo your days of work and leave you hanging in the balance. Decide what data on your mobile phone is so important that you just can’t afford to lose it. Such important data needs to be backed up either using a secure cloud service or using another of your devices like maybe your laptop. We also discussed the importance of encrypting mobile data earlier. If your data is important enough to be backed up, it is certainly important enough to be encrypted too. Therefore, you want to use backup and encryption together in order to ensure enhanced data protection.
7. Don’t Flood Your Mobile Phone With Apps
Only have those applications on your mobile phone that you know you use or will use. Remember that no mobile app is completely free from bugs, meaning it’s very likely for some or the other security vulnerabilities to be associated with practically all apps. Therefore, the more apps you have on your phone, the more security risks your phone is going to face. Go through the installed apps on your device from time to time. Any apps that you haven’t used in a long time should be deleted. Not only will you be reducing the possible security risks for your phone, but you will also be easily freeing up storage space on your phone!
Another tip to keep in mind is that when you’re downloading an app, check when was the app last updated. A recent update would suggest that the app is being properly maintained by the vendor offering the app.