You may think that it’s only big businesses that get hacked. Just because you are not rich, or important doesn’t mean that you are immune from hackers trying to access your data through your phone or other means.
In fact, you may be more at risk since big businesses have companies like Nok Nok that work to keep them protected.
You’re responsible for keeping your own data secure, so it is easier for hackers to access your phone or email. It’s like pickpockets vs bank robbers. Banks are where there’s a lot of money, but not everybody decides to rob a bank. Sometimes it’s just easier to lift a wallet.
In this article, I will go over several ways that you can keep yourself protected since your phone is an easy way for hackers to get your sensitive data. Remember to be on the lookout for other scams like phishing that doesn’t depend on the security of your phone or passwords. There are many ways a scammer can get to you without hacking.
1 – Stay up to date
You may find it annoying to be frequently asked to update your phone’s software. Sometimes it seems like every week you are installing new updates and restarting your phone.
It is important to do these updates as they happen. Often, they are patches that close some security loophole that was only just discovered.
If you use old software, you are leaving yourself open to be exploited. Keeping your software up to date is one way to stay ahead of the hackers as they will have to go back to the drawing board to come up with a new way to get past the new security measures.
And, they will come up with a way. It’s a constant game of cat and mouse so don’t make it easy on them by using old software.
2 – Be careful installing apps
Installing an app on your phone is much like opening your door to a stranger. Most of the time it’s harmless and you are installing an app that is common and is known to be safe.
Other times, the app might be less well known and you’re opening your door to a thief. When an app can access your camera, microphone and contact list, it can use that access with bad intentions. Even worse, some can record your keypad strokes so it can see your password and get into your banking or email accounts.
Make sure that before you download any app that you do your due diligence. Do a search to see if it is a scam or legitimate app. Ak questions on forums if you are having trouble determining its legitimacy.
Do an audit of your phone
If you were less than diligent in the past, you may already have some bad actors installed on your phone. Go through your list of apps and see how they are performing. By going to your settings and privacy, you can see what permissions each app is using.
If you see some that have access that gives you pause then check online to get some additional information about that app. You can deny certain permissions to make sure they aren’t accessing sensitive information.
Some apps won’t work properly if you don’t give them access, but if those permissions aren’t part of what the app needs but requests, then it’s a good idea to get rid of it.
3 – Set locks and permissions
You should always assume that one day your phone will get stolen or accessed by somebody when you aren’t looking. Make it very difficult for somebody to get into your phone by using strong passwords and biometrics.
Fingerprint access is a great way to make sure nobody else can get into your phone. You may have tipped off your password by accident but without your fingerprint, they can’t get in anyway.
There are also facial recognition metrics that you can use so the phone only opens when it sees your face as opposed to somebody trying to access your phone.
Never use smart unlocks, either. These are automatic unlocks when you arrive home or at a safe place where you assume your phone won’t be accessed by strangers and you’d rather not deal with using these systems to open your phone. If a thief is close enough with some types of software, they can access your phone without you realizing it.
4 – Don’t leave your services unlocked
Yes, it’s annoying to have to type out a password for every site you enter even sometimes several times in a few minutes.
The problem is if you leave these sites open to your account, somebody could access the browser and do what they want inside your account.
This is especially relevant when accessing an online bank account. Somebody with access can drain your savings in seconds if you leave it open.
If you really hate retyping a password continuously, at least use a reputable password app that will require you to only know the app password as all your other passwords are saved within it.
5 – Create fake metrics
Some sites will ask you personal questions if you forget your password. If somebody knows those details they can change your password and lock you out. And that information is easy to get from sites like Facebook. Make up a fake mother’s maiden name, for example. Or a fake pet name or child’s birthday. Any information somebody could get on their own is fair game.
Yes, these things make using a smartphone slightly inconvenient. You want to swipe and go on with your life. But, remember that you are walking around with the keys to everything. If you let somebody use those keys, then they will.
By making your life easier you’re also making it easy for hackers. Use this guide to keep you safe from them and they will move on. Surely, they will find another victim who hasn’t taken these measure.