We use our smartphones for a variety of purposes today. No longer are cell phones utilized to just make calls or chat with friends and family. When connected to other devices our smartphones can do a whole lot more. Banking and other financial transactions are effortless exercises now, thanks to digital wallet apps that enable us to store many credit cards. To top it all, a wealth of private information can be accessed via numerous chat log history, photos, calendars and also notes on the apps installed on ours. But so much of sensitive data stored on our devices works both as a blessing and a very real danger. Imagine what would happen if all our personal details were to fall into the wrong hands? To set your fears to rest here are a few tips which will help you breathe easy if you ever happen to lose your cell phone.
Self-Destructing Lock Screens
This feature seems like something straight out of a James Bond film! Your data is at risk even if it means placing your phone on your desk at the workplace and stepping away for a short while. All the information that is available on your smartphone could well be easy pickings for anyone who lays their hands on your device. One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to activate the lock screen security feature.
There are many ways by which you can protect your information by using this function. For example, you could set an alphabetical password or a numerical combination to open the lock screen every time. That’s not all; many Android phones give users the option of enabling a preset ‘Autowipe’ feature that erases all important data off your phone if a hacker fails to log in to your device after a certain number of attempts.
Close Unwanted Settings
Many people make the mistake of leaving features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS on even when they are not using them. Apart from being a big drain on your battery, the failure to turn these settings off could invite trouble. Hackers are always on the lookout for an entry point into your device. It’s almost like leaving the front door to your home ajar; that’s not a wise thing to do, is it? Bluetooth for instance regularly transmits vital details such as the location and presence of your device. Coupled with this, many location services and apps can pinpoint where you are at any given point in time. So it is a good idea to turn off the features you don’t need.
Verify Apps before Download
We all love freebies, but they can come loaded with dangerous malware and viruses which steal information from your smartphone. One way to ensure the authenticity of the app you wish to download is to visit the publisher/company website. Also, be doubly wary of free upgrades to popular apps from unknown developers. Imagine for a minute that you’re browsing the web and all of a sudden, the banking site you’re on offers a free gift voucher if you download an app… this is most likely the doing of a spurious developer. Noting app ratings and the user comments can help you decide on matters of authenticity.
Avoid suspicious Apps and Links
Almost all mobile platforms are vulnerable to virus attacks, through multiple ways. There a class of viruses and malware that run in the background on what are called ‘dirty apps’ that transmit the data from your smartphone. Even though Android is extremely popular among users, it is for this very reason that you need to be wary of the software as it enables third-party apps and programs to be installed rather easily. This compromises the system and leaves your smartphone vulnerable to attacks.
We must all exercise immense caution in the digital age. To avoid getting into such a situation, make sure that you never download suspicious-looking apps, regardless of the attractive design. More importantly, avoid unknown links like the plague for you never know where they may lead you. Install robust antivirus software, that has a good firewall system. This will alert you of suspicious activity in real-time and also ensure the safety of your data. Always remember to scan every file you download.
Even though mobile phone companies invest millions of dollars in researching and implementing the best possible software to help users safeguard the data on their smartphones, the bad guys always catch up somehow. It is therefore important that you take additional measures which will make your privacy inviolable.