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Secure your smartphone — Best practices

Why do we need to secure our smartphones?

Smartphones are now a part of our life. It has replaced most of the essential things in our life. We no more use a Camera for taking photos, using a watch for seeing the time, or using a computer or laptop to send an email or a scanner for scanning a document. The list goes on and this small device has become essential in our life. As the smartphone becomes unavoidable — it is always prone to threats and we need to protect the device from all kinds of threats.

The more we depend on the device and open our personal information to open networks, the greater the risk of losing our critical personal information. Hence we need to protect our devices and follow a few of the best practices to secure our smartphones. Listed below are a few of the best ways of securing your mobile devices.

Enable user authentication

It is always a best practice to enable user authentication in one of the following ways

  • Define a Passcode
  • Enable facial lock (if permitted in the device)
  • Enable a Lock pattern

Enabling a complex lock pattern or use a longer passcode will make the device safe. Even in case of a threat, we can also be sure that our device’s data is safe. Avoid using a simple passcode (e.g., 1234,1111, etc.)

Update OS regularly

It is always recommended to update your mobile OS regularly. Though we might feel annoyed with the regular update requests, chances of being hacked are higher if we are not up to date on the mobile device provider’s updates.

There are several instances where a potential threat was identified, and update/patch was sent to devices. Please do not ignore any software update and always see to it that your OS is on the latest patch released by the mobile service provider.

Install only reliable APPs on your smartphone

Avoid installing numerous apps that are not relevant and not useful. Install only the secured apps and be very sure to read the terms and conditions before installing any app.

Read through the disclaimer and always think before allowing the APP to access our personal information or camera. There are many instances when a hacker can access your photos or documents, or camera. The more unsecured apps we have, there is an underlying potential threat waiting for us 😊

Avoid the use of public/insecure networks

When you are outside in a public place, try to avoid the public WIFI. As the public networks are not secured, there is a larger chance that we can be hacked. It is always best practice to use your mobile data in a public place. And if you plan to make purchases or transmit personal data such as banking information in an unsecured or public network, consider using a VPN service to ensure that the data is encrypted or wait until you are on a secure network.

It is also recommended to use Bluetooth only when it is required. Otherwise, it is always better to have the Bluetooth off to avoid any threat.

Stay protected from physical theft

Despite all the security measures we have taken for protecting our mobile devices, what should we do in case of physical theft. First and foremost, always keep your devices secured and do not leave your phones in open places. Have the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number or serial number that all mobile phones and smartphones have noted as a backup. It is usually a 15-digit number and we can track our device in case of any theft using the number given to the police department.

Be aware of the SPAM calls

As a general practice, it is always recommended not to attend any calls from an unknown number. In some of the smartphones, we may get information on potential spam calls. If the device does not prompt, it is better not to attend the calls from any unknown numbers.

It is not only the SPAM calls that are risky, Opening a SPAM email or opening a link or attachment is not recommended. As a best practice, avoid the SPAM emails and not open an email attachment or link that is not relevant.

Cloud security on a smartphone

With the increased use of a smartphone, we use a smartphone as a computer storing critical personal documents, photos, etc. Not only that, we are using Cloud backup from mobile devices as well. So Have the Cloud security measures taken for the mobile devices as well.

Setup remote wipe capabilities

Use a mechanism to delete all the critical information remotely, even when you don’t have access to the device. This feature will help to wipe out all the critical personal information from your device in case of phone theft or loss.

Finally, even though we take multiple measures to protect our devices, there is always a possibility of a threat. The best practices will not ensure that you are 100 % secured in case of a threat. But following the best practices will reduce the possibility of being a victim of a threat.

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