In today’s world, almost everyone owns a smart phone device. Not only do cyber criminals want to hack into your computer, they also want to gain access to your phone. Many people fail to realize that just because your phone is close by your side and not in someone else’s’ possession, that your information is safe and secure. Our phones can be exposed to many security risks and it’s important to become educated and take the proper precautions to help eliminate the chance of any possible threat.
Here are some tips to protect your smartphone and increase mobile security:
1. Set a Strong Password
Research has shown that 54% of users in the United States fail to setup up an unlock passcode. Whether it’s a 4 or 6-digit PIN, fingerprint, pattern lock, or facial scan, it’s extremely important to have some sort of initial security barrier in place to prevent outside intruders from gaining access to your phone. If you happen to use a PIN code, try using a 6-digit PIN opposed to a 4-digit PIN to allow for a more secure approach. Be sure to stay clear of using repeated numbers as this takes the least amount of effort/time for a hacker. Adopting the fingerprint and or face scan is your best bet to ensure a high level of protection.
2. Download Applications Only From Official Stores
Be sure to download all applications from the App Store (iPhone) and Google Play Store (Android). This ensures the app is coming from a legitimate source. Hackers are notorious for sending spoof download links that will redirect to an application that initially requires an e-mail login, and once inputted, the app will no longer work. The information provided will be sent to the hacker and they will use it to access your e-mail. From there, those credentials will be used in other sites to gain access to more sensitive data.
3. Check Your Applications Permissions
When downloading certain apps, a notification will appear asking for granted permission to files, folders, contacts, etc. Some permissions also allow elevated access to hardware controls such as the device’s camera and microphones, allowing it to be a gateway for a hacker. Both Apple and Android have updated their application control management for you to dive deeper in what can or cannot be controlled.
To do so:
- iOS – Go to Settings > Privacy. From here, you can view what app has access to each individual portion of your phone.
- Android – Go to Settings > Apps, select an app, then tap ‘Permissions.’ From here, you can control every individual app’s access to your devices’ files.
4. Watch Your Wi-Fi connection
Wi-Fi connections are so beneficial because they provide increased speeds and save on cellular data usage, but any device that becomes network enabled to send data across the airways is at risk. It is important to turn off your Wi-Fi connection when not in use. Not only will it save your battery, but more importantly, it prevents any sort of chance for hackers to access your device without your knowledge. When connecting to a network make sure it’s from a legitimate source because hackers are known to set up “evil twin” attacks which are hotspots that do not require a SSID. If a user happens to inadvertently connect, they might find requests for passwords or other login information that will be recorded on the hackers end. Be sure to spot out spoof networks and ignore any requests for personal data requests.
5. Update Apps and Security Software
Once a new operating system software is available, it’s important to update your mobile device. Before doing so, its advantageous to do a little online research to make sure there are no bugs or performance issues, as well as possible security flaws that could open your device to a threat or breach. Obviously, there are many reasons why people hold off on updating their phone’s operating system, but by doing so, it’s far riskier to stay with the current/older versions than downloading the most recent build.
Being aware and applying these safe measure practices will not only keep your data safe and secure but it will also frustrate cyber criminals.
Beringer is always here to provide expert knowledge in topics like these. Contact us today with any questions you may have.
Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution. We also provide expert Managed IT Services, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Cloud Based Computing and Unified Communication Solutions.