Cybersecurity is a major concern for smartphone owners. It is quite easy to hack a smartphone even though many people like to think otherwise. Simple things like connecting to a public Wi-Fi is an open invitation to people with the right skills to access your phone. Likewise, sideloading applications or jailbreaking is another way to get your phone hacked.
Upon entering the device, hackers can easily access your private data that includes payment information, pictures, videos, and contacts. The purpose of this article is not to talk about phone hacking or asking our readers not to store sensitive information in their smartphones. Everyone has a right to privacy. Therefore, we will talk about top ways to secure your smartphone.
Use a Screen Lock to Secure Your Smartphone
Whenever you buy a new phone, the first thing that you should do is set up a screen lock. Most of us are very lazy at setting up our screen locks up. It is the first step to secure your smartphone. It is important to set a secure password, pin, or pattern.
If your phone contains a fingerprint scanner or face authentication feature then it is safer to set all three (password, fingerprint, face recognition) up. Cybersecurity experts say that a password should be a combination of numeric, letters, and special characters. Such passwords are difficult to crack.
How to Set a Screen Lock in Android:
- Go into your Settings.
- Click the Lock Screen
- Tap on ‘Screen Lock’.
- Select the Lock You Wish to Apply
Please note that the above steps might not apply to your phone as there is a lot of customization when it comes to Android phones. Nevertheless, you can search for Security, Screen Lock, or Password in ‘Settings’. You will surely find what the option this way.
How to Set a Screen Lock in iPhone:
- Navigate to ‘Settings’ from the Home Screen.
- Click “Face ID and Passcode” or in earlier phones “Touch ID and Passcode.”
Enter the passcode and reconfirm to activate it. Likewise, you can set up a Face ID and Touch ID too.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Enable two-factor authentication on your phone. Two-factor authentication always asks for the owner’s permission in case of unknown access detection.
- Go into the settings.
- Click passwords and security and look for two-factor authentication.
- Turn the toggle button on for your Google and Apple ID protection.
- Secure your accounts with strong passwords for extra precautionary measures.
You can also set two-factor authentication in your Google account if the option if not available in your android device.
Backup Smartphone Data in a Secure Location
You should back your data up regularly. This way restoring your data will be easier and possible in case of any problem. You can always back your data with a Google or Apple account. Using Google and Apple account, you can restore the backed data in other device as well. There are several reasons for backing up your data.
Consider a situation where you have lost your smartphone and are unable to find it. It might be misplaced or someone stole it. Either way, it is not in your possession and someone might be able to access it. In such situations, it is better to do a remote factory reset. This will prevent the data from falling into the wrong hands. You can then restore the data in another device.
Please note that iCloud data is encrypted whereas data stored on Google Drive is not. It is better to backup your data in an offline device such a password protected USB or external hard disk.
Limit Access to Installed Applications
Limit the access of applications installed on your phone.
How to Limit Access to Apps in Android:
- Go into the Settings
- Tap Apps and Notification
- Tap the App you want to restrict
- Click on the Permissions
- Choose which permissions you want the app to have
How to Limit Access to Apps in iPhone:
- Go into the Settings.
- Tap “Content and Privacy Restrictions.”
- Click on the toggle “Content and Privacy.”
- Tap on the option “Allowed apps.”
- Enable and disable restrictions of applications by switching the toggle to on or off.
Disable “Unknown Sources”
You can also disable the setting “unknown sources.” This way, your phone will not allow installation from non-official sources. For instance, there are many app stores available on the internet besides Google’s Play Store. Google allows its users to install apps from these sources.
There is no way to ensure that these apps are not stealing your data. While Google regularly combs through the codes of apps available on its store, the same cannot be said for other app stores. Therefore, it is better to disable the installation of such apps.
How to Disable ‘Unknown Sources’ in Android:
- Navigate to Settings.
- Scroll down and click on “Security.”
- Turn the switch “Unknown sources” off.
iPhone does not allow its users to install an app from anywhere other than the app store. Therefore, you will not find this option in IOS.
Install Antivirus Apps
We all have antivirus applications installed in our PCs, right? Well, why not smartphones? This is something which many people fail to do. Over the years, there have been many antivirus apps that have been developed specifically for smartphone security. Use their premium versions to get their best features and ensure that the smartphone remains secure. Bitdefender has a lot of positive reviews and is widely regarded as one of the best smartphone antivirus app. Tap on the below links to download the app for your smartphone.
For security and malware avoidance purposes, download trusted applications only. Choose a trusted site to download the app. It is better to just download applications from the official Google and Apple App Stores. Moreover, it is better to have a lesser amount of apps in your phone for fewer chances of a data breach.
For extra tips, always avoid using public Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It increases the chances of IP tracking leading to hacking. Having said that, I recommend not storing sensitive data on your phone. Hackers can find any solution to our privacy precautions and may lead to huge problems for you.