Over 81 percent of Americans own a smartphone, and they rely on it for communication, entertainment, as well as business. As such, phone security should be a matter of top priority to ensure data safety and protection.
Using your smartphone over the internet exposes you to different risks like cyber-attacks and identity theft. Some of the most basic Android security precautions, like locking your home screen, can help protect your device from data theft. Securing your home screen enhances your iPhone security, and prevents unauthorized access to the contents of your phone.
Apart from having private data stolen from your phone, a virus attack may also corrupt it. As such, it’s only essential that you know how to protect the phone from hackers and enhance phone virus protection.
What Types of Threats Do Smartphones Face?
In the past, the biggest cybersecurity threats only existed on computers, but this has changed. Since your smartphone is at the risk of cyber-attack, you should be concerned with phone theft protection measures. Before then, it’s essential that you understand the type of threats that your smartphone is exposed to.
Mobile security threats fall into different categories. One is the application-based threats that happen when people download a malicious app. If you ever wondered, “what is mobile malware,” the answer lies in application-based risks.
These are applications that disguise themselves as legit, but in real sense, they skim data from your device.
Network-based threats are common when you use public networks. Cybercriminals steal unencrypted data from your phone when you connect to publicly shared internet connections.
The other category is the physical threats that happen when your phone is stolen or gets lost. Hackers get direct access to the hardware where your data is stored. Physical phone threats are more dangerous, and phone theft protection should be a priority.
Web-based threats are another category, but these tend to go unnoticed as they’re more subtle. They happen when you visit sites that seem legit. In the real sense, they’re created to download malicious content into your device automatically.
In this regard, what is the need for security in mobile phones? Ensuring your device is protected keeps your data safe and protects you from possible fraud.
How to Secure Your Phone
Protecting your phone from attack goes beyond locking the home screen. Remember, there’s more at stake than losing your contacts and text messages if you lose your phone. Even without using your phone to access the internet or store private data, you can still be at risk.
You can stay several steps ahead of modern mobile security threats if you’re keen on mobile phone security tips. If you lock your phone as part of security measures, go ahead and adopt other security measures as outlined here.
Protect Sensitive Data
In days past, using a PIN and password was all you needed to protect your phone. However, this isn’t sufficient anymore as people can easily remove the microSD card and access your data. Another approach to protecting your sensitive data is to use phone encryption strategies.
Some smartphone platforms offer software that can encrypt files or folders with industry-standard protection. Encryption means that a specific code must be entered before viewing or copying a file. Anyone without this code may not be able to access the files, passwords, account numbers, and login details.
Enable Google Play Protect Feature
In addition to encryption of data, consider using the protection software on Google Play Store. This is a feature that runs a safety check on the apps you wish to download from the play store. It checks for any potential malware and warns you when it detects them.
The software also periodically scans your phone. It sends you privacy alerts about apps that ask for permission to access private information. Once an installed app has been detected to contain malware, the best thing is for you to uninstall it.
Be Wary of WiFi Connections
With most smartphones, it’s possible to connect to a WiF network. Any device connected to such networks faces a potential security threat.
Ensure you always switch off all WiFi connections when not in use. This will prevent malicious parties from connecting to your phone without you knowing. Switch off automatic WiFi connection feature on your phone for more security.
Basic Phone Security
Phone security falls into basic and advanced levels. Basic phone security can go a long way in helping protect your data from cybersecurity attacks. They make it harder for hackers to gain access to private information.
Two Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is an extra step that seems tedious but adds an extra layer of protection to your accounts. It helps check and verify your identity before allowing access to your account.
The process generates a time-sensitive code sent to you through a text message. Once you enter the code, you’re able to access the account you want to log into.
Update Your Phone
Regularly updating your phone’s software is essential in enhancing its security. Regular notifications to update your phone may seem like a nuisance, but they’re for your own good. The longer you take without updating the software, the higher the risk of malware attack and malfunction.
While updating the software, ensure you also backup your phone. It’s advisable to store your data on cloud servers where you can easily retrieve it in case you lose your phone.
Track Your Phone
Some software on the market can help you track your phone when you misplace it, or it gets stolen. You can install find my device app to allow you to track, lock, and erase information from your handset from wherever you are with just a tap.
Once you download it, sign in to your Google account and give the app permission to access your phone’s location.
Another thing that could put your phone at risk is charging your phone at public USB ports. Connecting to an open port does more than just charge your phone as it also transmits data. If a port is compromised, hackers can access your photos, contacts, and emails.
Advanced Phone Security
In addition to the above steps for basic phone protection, you can go a step further and use advanced protection.
If you have multiple accounts on your phone, remembering all the passwords may be a little tricky. Avoid using the same password across all accounts and, instead, use a password manager. It helps you log into your accounts without having to memorize the passwords.
All you need to do is create a master password and have it encrypted. This is the only password you’ll have to remember.
Virtual Private Networks or VPNs ensure that you make secure connections over the internet. You can send and receive data over shared or public networks while preventing unauthorized access to your data. Use a VPN to add an additional layer of protection between you and hackers.
App permissions are meant to help protect the privacy of your phone. Apps request permissions to access your sensitive data like SMS and contacts. Others also access the camera and the internet.
It’s essential that you check app permissions as some may cause you to grant dangerous access to sensitive data. Some permissions, like reading your phone’s contact, is dangerous permission that you shouldn’t allow.
Other advanced phone security approaches are to turn off unknown sources and use a physical security key. Unknown sources are applications that come from outside your phone’s Play Store. Your phone will ask you every time you’re about to install an app from an unknown source.
Your phone security is essential, mainly if you use it to access the internet. Apart from locking your phone, you need to consider more advanced security features. Avoid using public Wi-Fi connection and USB Ports, use VPN, check app permissions, and update your phone regularly.