David Papp Blog

Basic Tips to Secure Your Smartphone

Smartphones have now become a major necessity for many people whenever they want to maintain contact with their loved ones and friends. But when these major necessities have been lost or stolen, your personal security is always at risk. All important information saved in your Smartphone can have the tendency to be used illegally with your identity being used by the person who have stolen or found your phone.

But these worries are sure to be minimized or eliminated when you follow the security features of your phone. If you are one of those who want to keep their Smartphone secure, then do the following tips:

  • Keep your phone secured by using pins/passwords.

    This is a basic Smartphone security method that most phone users overlook. Yes, swipe patterns may work for some, but finger-trails will always be visible especially when you are not changing your password. There are people who use a 4-digit password (pin). It is always best that the most uncommon password would help in making your phone secured at all times.

  • Automatic lock should be turned on.

    It is necessary that you will not only set the password for your phone but also set your phone to lock automatically. Set it with the shortest timeout comfortable for your needs, say, 2 to 4 minutes.

  • Download/Enable a credible phone finder.

    Smartphone security does not end with just setting passwords alone. Unexpected situations like your phone being stolen or lost is always the situation that most people want to avoid. As you download a phone finder, you are allowed to call and locate it and even delete all data in it through your browser.

  • Secure your phone safe from malware.

    Just like computers, your Smartphone should always be secured from malware whenever you download apps online. Install credible apps alone and keep it always updated whenever there are available updates for apps you have download and the operating system used on your phone. Do not unlock your phone since it is opening your phone to run any suspicious software that may cause your phone’s system to have issues. Avoid accepting attachments/contents whenever you are online like ads and messages since these may bring malware. Turn off NFC standards that support mobile wallets and stuff or Bluetooth technology to avoid unwanted downloads and never let other people read through stored data on your phone wirelessly.

  • Turn off your Automatic Wi-Fi connection.

    Though it is convenient for you, this automatic setting will give away your location and identity unknowingly and may leak any important data in your device. This will help in preventing malicious people in intercepting or acting upon whatever they can find in your phone and use it without your consent.

If you want to heighten your Smartphone security, it is necessary that you will always turn off the features that allow you to connect with any network and device automatically. Furthermore, it is always better that you will always check the reliability of apps and software that you will use with your Smartphone to avoid malware from destroying your phone’s contents.

27 thoughts on “Basic Tips to Secure Your Smartphone”

  1. Thank you very much for sharing these tips with your readers. The widespread use of smartphones involves a series of cares and many of us don’t take these precautions. In my case, I completely ignored the use of a suitable antivirus to protect my smartphone. In all other cases, I think I have a pretty reasonable conduct. We must deal every day with these little details that you point out.

  2. This is something all phone users should take into consideration, especially when there have been many anecdotal cases of people losing their iPhones due to theft. People leave a lot of information within their phones when it becomes a supplementary part of their lives. And having that taken away without any contingencies can backfire very quickly.

    Nice for you to mention how one should be careful of how fingerprints can leave a trail on phones that have a PIN feature. One method people could also do is to periodically utilize some form of wipes to clear any trails, but like you’ve stated, it would be best to change passwords as well periodically. The aspect about malware is also useful, and people that may transfer data from PC to their phones can also utilize antivirus programs to scan files beforehand they may have downloaded to ensure added security and assurance.

    Thanks for providing these tips on securing smartphones, David!

  3. It’s a good act that you placed all this imperative information on here. This is one of the worries that does cross my mind every so often, even though I don’t see myself ever losing my phone due to it always being in my pocket or in my hand. Pertaining to it being stolen, well that’s another chapter I should prepare for in case it does occur.

    However, it’s still frightening to know that certain crooks out there are on the hunt to try and hack people’s phones for sensitive info they can use to their own advantage. Thank goodness I don’t do any jail breaking to my phone. You are just leaving your phone highly vulnerable. The worst thing is when people without much experience or knowledge with technological devices are targeted. As for me, I am cautious at all times about what I do, download and which sites I browse. I even have an antivirus installed.

    All in all, you provided very good tips and some I haven’t thought about and will consider practicing to keep myself safe from such potential, malicious possibilities.

  4. You briefly mention under the phone finder suggestion that you should also have one that can wipe data remotely. This feature almost deserves it’s own bullet point. The ability to remotely wipe or lock a smartphone can be critical when storing sensitive data on a mobile device. Users storing sensitive or private information on their smartphone should ALWAYS have a “plan b” in the event the phone is lost or stolen so that sensitive data is not leaked.

  5. Thank you for sharing all such helpful information with us. A lot of care and safety also involves in handling a smartphone. Not only that it is prone to many malfunctions, but also the economy issue. It is also the costlier one among the remaining ordinary phones. It is a must to keep our smartphone secure all the time. This information provided by you will surely be helpful to many users. Thank you once again.

  6. I already do most if not all of these, and it is really very important. If someone physically takes my phone, in order for them to get into it, they would have needed to take it without my knowledge in the 1 minute that it takes to autolock. With having an iPhone, the Find my iPhone app is great and can track down where the phone is. Thankfully I’ve not had to use it yet, but it makes me feel safe knowing it is there if I need it.

  7. A useful and relevant article. I do most (but not all) of these things. Security of our data sources becomes more important as we use more advanced pieces of technology to store our information. Without following common-sense practices such as the ones you provide its too easy to fall victim to ID theft.

    Do you know a good phone-finder service? There are so many, its hard to know which ones are credible and which ones scams.

  8. I agree with you, I think setting a four-or-more-letters password would be a good idea instead of using the swipe feature as the passcode. I use more than four-letters password because I want to make sure my smartphone is well-secured and people wouldn’t guess the password easily. It’s always good to protect it since I have gotten my IPhone stolen at work, which I have to make sure all the passwords are activated. I often turn off the automatic wifi connection because that way I can save the battery life of the smartphone, and maintain a good security on the smartphone as well.

  9. I have the Cerberus as my phone finder app. It’s paid, but I think everyone should make that investment. I’m pretty happy with it, although I hadn’t had the chance to actually use it, since I’ve never lost my phone (whew!). But I wasn’t aware that I needed to watch out for malwares! I think it’s a great tip.

  10. Now most of these ideas I was actively aware of and am currently keeping track of on a daily basis, but Malware!? Some how the concept for a cell phone simply completely escaped my grasp. I’m going right now to check for apps and thanks for the post David.

  11. This is great, thanks for the tips. Having a code to unlock is a no-brainer, but i know of some who ignore this important step. I am just glad that it is a very small minority. I never really paid attention to the malware bit. I assume that the apple store harbors safe and legitimate apps, so It really is not much of a problem.

  12. I have to admit I have removed all keylocks and pin numbers to unlock my phone. I became so annoyed with always having to type in a pin just to pop in quickly that I figured I can earn back hours of my life by not doing it.
    I may regret it oneday…

  13. I use all of these features with my iPhone except the password. I use to have it but it got very annoying so I took it off. My phone is always around me so I do not see any need for me to lock my phone. If my phone was to get stolen, I have an app called Find My iPhone so I can look up the location and lock it from my computer.

  14. I used to have some sort of Antivirus app on my phone but I find them a bit annoying since they take up almost all the resource of the phone making it sluggish and unresponsive at times.

  15. Thanks for these tips. I wasn’t aware of the weakness with automatic wifi but it makes sense to me now. I have turned it off. I keep my passcode lock on and put passwords on certain apps. I admittedly don’t think about safety with my phone that often but I should. A lot of my life is on there!

  16. The one thing that I haven’t done from the list is to download a credible phone finder. I would very much appreciate a program like that if my phone is lost, especially if it can delete all my sensitive data. We could back up all our data on in the cloud, but photos and videos that can be manipulated and misused need be secured by such software.

  17. Thanks for the tips! They are greatly appreciated!
    With the still-increasing popularity of the smartphones it’s good to know how you can make your phone more secure. I personally never used an antivirus since I’m not that scared of malware on my Android phone, but I definitely use a passcode.

  18. Phones have become such a big part of our lives that protecting them is very important. I cannot tell you how many cases I have heard of people losing their phones and then having to also deal with identity fraud. Those who use their phones with very sensitive information should be sure to follow the points on this article.

  19. With all the talk about leaks these days it’s hard not to be wary about your data being stolen especially since Smartphones are a part of our lives now and it would really be stupid to not at least take the steps to secure your phone and your privacy.

  20. Any of these things that people are doing with the smartphone may be entirely legitimate. I have however, been put in the position where the persons in charge terminates the game as soon as they are able to. The catch is the internet service providers and phone communication providers have the responsibility to not cooperate with the bad guys in case something happens. That being the issue, I think failure to prevent security breaches, should they occur, should be introduced to the customers as part of the communication providers’ responsibility. You can get customers to help with just about anything if they are informed.

  21. Another tip is to not plug your phone into USB ports unless you know that the USB port provides power only. There is a way to gain access into phones, and its pretty simple. A person can make a small box with some USB ports on it, and that box will have a small computer like a Raspberry Pi in it. When the phone is connected and unlocked, the Raspberry Pi can now do a multitude of things – copy data off of the device, install spyware/adware, or even just wreak havoc on the device itself. People like to keep their devices on nowadays, and airports are such a prime spot for data theft because so many people just plug in their devices wherever to charge the battery just a bit more before their next flight.

  22. The two things I’m definitely guilty of is not securing myself from malware and not turning off my automatic wi-fi connection.

    Hmmh… I’ve actually never considered turning off my wi-fi. I guess I like the quick accessibility of having it on 24/7. But now that you’ve mentioned it, I will start taking that precaution. Thanks!

    • Turning off WiFi is a good idea, not only due safety concerns, but also because that way your battery can last more. You know, when you need to stretch the charge as much as you can, when you don’t have a way to charge it. It’s all in all an excellent tip 🙂

  23. I have an iPhone 4S and it’s already loaded with alot of great security stuff like the passcodes and autolock and even “find my iPhone” which is a great piece of software that I know have helped tons of people in the past who had their iPhone stolen.

    I’m not too worried about this though. As long as one keeps an eye on the phone and keeps it secure with all this stuff I think there will be no worries. 🙂

  24. I agree with some of the above. You should change your passwords every few months and don’t use the same password for every site or account you login in to. Smart Phones are loaded with personal info that can be used by scammers. Me personally, I constantly change my personal info and always log out of every site you’re in, just to be safe.

  25. I do all of these on my android- you can never be too careful. Malware an adware, are everywhere, especially on the smartphone scenes. Most people just download apps and give out permissions willynilly without reading them.

  26. Thanks a lot for writing this useful article, I’m actually guilty of not turning off my automatic WiFi connection. I need to start doing that when I’m going out, just the other day I was thinking if that ”Free” internet spot I was connected to was actually from the company it said it was. I honestly feel like I really need to be more careful with my phone.

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