One of the primary advantages of a smartphone is that it enables you to store all your personal info at one place. Be it the bank account or credit card info, emails, social security number, or even simple info such as the names and addresses of your friends and family members, each of them are highly sensitive. It’s essential to protect it as much as you can. While there are many ways to keep your data safe on your phone, discussed here are some of the easiest options that you must know.
Use Screen & App Lock
A screen lock is a first and important hurdle for anyone who tries to access your phone. Hence, it is important to have one on your phone as well. You can either use a Pattern or a Numerical PIN, or a password that combines letters, numbers and special characters.
All you need is to go to the Lock Screen under Settings and follow the steps to create your own screen lock. Also, if you choose a pattern as your option, it advisable to make it invisible, or else it could leave a trail when you are unlocking, which would make it easier to guess.
Similarly, you can also protect each of your apps in the same way. For this, you would have to install an App locker app, and there are several of them available on the Google Play Store. Once installed, you can pick and choose the apps that you wish to lock. The app locker would protect the apps by masking them with a password screen. Access to the apps will be allowed only if the password is correct.
Choose Apps Carefully
While you can negate the external risk through physical passcodes, avoiding a threat from within requires you to be a bit more careful. It starts with the apps you install. Apparently, not all apps are secure and may have hidden internal code to access your data secretly. They can even have a malicious code that can damage your Android device, temporarily or even permanently. Hence, it’s recommended to install only those apps that are verified by Google. You can confirm it when the phrase ‘Verified by Play Protector’ appears while installing the app.
Check Data Usage
The ability of the online apps to keep updating automatically has both advantages and drawbacks. For instance, apps meant for tracking the weather or streaming news feeds need constant access to the Internet to give you the latest info. However, allowing these online services to stay open or run in the background when not in use can be risky at times.
Most hackers are always on a lookout to breach online devices, and a steady connectivity to your phone can only allow them more time to access it. Hence, switching off the data, be it the mobile data or the Wi-Fi, can make your phone less prone to attacks from hackers.
Keeping a rack of your data usage is a simple way to identify such attacks if any. All you need to do is to list the apps on your phone based on their data usage. Any app that hasn’t been used extensively but has still consumed considerable data should be monitored and uninstalled immediately if possible. It’s because the hackers could be using the app as a doorway to your device and uninstalling it will shut down their secret passage.
Entering a username and passcode to access your regular communication apps such as emails and messages can be cumbersome at times. Hence, many of us are more likely to choose the auto-login option and let the device or the app remember your credentials and login automatically. While it can appear helpful, it can also be the same for the intruder(s) who has accessed your phone. All they have to do is tap on the app’s icon, (or run the app if they have a remote access) to log into it. Phew! That can be dreadfully easy for anyone, which would allow easy access to all your private interactions.
One of the options is to make use of a password manager app. It necessitates you to re-enter a master password regularly. Also, it’s recommended to use different passwords for each app or service, because even if one of your passwords gets found out, you would still manage to protect your other private info.
Apart from these, you can also follow few measures such as clearing your cache, running anti-virus, and changing your passwords regularly. All you need to remember is that your phone’s data is as safe and secure as much as your ability to be careful about it.