Since our smartphones are now an integral part of our social and professional lives, they have become a gold mine of personal information and a storage bank that contains important data about how we live our daily lives. It contains invaluable information about ourselves, from our schedules and credit card information, to our private conversations, the apps we use, our social media profiles, and e-mails. In short, the kind of information you don’t want anyone else to access, but is precisely what hackers are targeting.
Here are ways you can protect yourself from people who want to hack into your personal information and possibly use it for purposes of identity theft:
- The Basics
Set your phone to lock automatically when not in use. If given an option between a pin code and creating a swipe pattern in accessing your smartphone, opt for the pin instead. Using a combination of letters, numbers and characters is also best practice.
- For android users: Install security software
Much like a desktop computer, our mobile devices are also vulnerable to viruses and malware. Installing mobile security software that warns against potential security risks when managing apps or accessing risky websites is a good tool to help avoid catching any infections that can mess up your phone’s operating system.
- Update your phone
Whether you’re using an Android or iOS device, make sure that you always update it to get the latest stable version of your OS. This way, you will have the latest and most improved layer of defense installed on your phone.
- In case of theft: Encrypt your phone
In the event that your phone gets stolen, encrypting your phone will prevent the thief from accessing your files that may lead to all kinds of privacy disasters like identity theft and leaked data.
- Keep your personal data personal
Whenever you access a public WiFi network, your phone’s stored data could be left vulnerable and easily accessible by hackers. To avoid this, turn off your automatic WiFi settings and delete networks that cannot be trusted. While you’re at it, switch your Bluetooth to “not discoverable” to keep yourself aware of all connections. Better yet turn off WiFi and Bluetooth when not in use. This will also help keep your battery last longer.