The amazing thing about smartphones today is they can do more than PCs were able to do decades ago. Some of them even dominate various laptops that are on the market in terms of what they are able to accomplish. This is something everyone with an active online lifestyle appreciates.
However, there’s a bad side to this as well. Due to all the personal information your smartphone contains, such as text messages, social media apps, e-mails, and banking and shopping data, your smartphone can likely become a target for a hacker. So, how do you keep yourself safe from getting hacked? Here are a few ways that you can do this.
Lock your phone
You should know that every smartphone can be protected with a password. If you haven’t set one yet, do it right away – and make sure that you change it every couple of months. When you are not using your phone, make sure it is locked. As you probably know, some phones have lock patterns, which are simpler to some people than codes they have to remember. Some phones include facial recognition, where your phone’s camera recognizes your face and unlocks the phone. Others include vice recognition, which makes your phone respond to a particular phrase spoken in your voice.
Be mindful of what you install
Whenever you download and install an app, it may ask you for a variety of permissions, like access to your camera, files, microphone, and the like. While some apps legitimately use these aspects of your phone, the fact remains they can be exploited. So, before you permit access to the app, make sure that you know its source is trustworthy. This is especially the case with Android phones, because Google’s process for approving apps is less rigorous than Apple’s, so there’s often been a case that the Play Store actually had malicious apps on it. Also, if you are an Android user, be very careful when installing third-party apps.
Avoid fishy links
The same as with your PCs and laptops, the simplest way to avoid spyware is simply not to click on links that seem fishy. Everyone with at least a bit of knowledge about tech knows that opening an e-mail from an unknown sender is a no-go. But also, if you get an e-mail or a text from someone that you actually know, but the message looks strange, contact them to see whether they really sent it, or a malware app did it for them. While this security method seems obvious, the fact is sometimes we get curious, and there are also times when phishing scams disguise themselves as e-mails that look legit.
Update your OS
Whether it’s an expensive smartphone of any brand of cheap mobile phones, another essential way of keeping it safe is making sure it always has the most current updates installed. Just like computer operating systems like Windows and macOS are commonly updated between new versions, your phone’s OS updates itself as well, specifically with the reason to make sure that any leaks that may lead the hackers in are sealed. You can install updates directly on your phone, or sync with your PC and get them from the manufacturer’s website.
Be careful when it comes to free Wi-Fi
Unsecured wireless networks are a bigger deal than some people think. In fact, when you connect to an unknown Wi-Fi network, you risk putting all your personal data out there for someone to go through. Sadly, a lot of wireless networks you would think are secure from hackers are in fact not. So, when you decide to use a Wi-Fi network, make sure it ’s a public connection owned by a business. It is common for hackers to go into areas with a lot of people, open their own wireless hotspots for free, put a name to them that sounds legit, and trick you. When you connect, they can steal your private data without much effort with the right tools.
Install an antivirus app
If it is pretty common for you to browse the internet on your phone and download various content, then it would be a smart idea to install an antivirus app to keep yourself safe. There is a variety of those out there, like Avast and AVG Free. However, if you really want to make sure that your phone is safe and sound, you might spend a bit of money on Norton or Kaspersky antivirus apps. Alternatively you can check out PhoneRescue to recover the data just in case you lose it due to some virus attack. You can check out the PhoneRescue review here for more details. They will not only keep your phone’s browsers safe, but will also tell you which websites you can browse without worrying about viruses.
Keeping your phone from being hacked is all about being mindful about what you do online, making sure that your phone’s operating system is up to date, and having proper tools to protect yourself from malicious apps. Just don’t take risks, and make sure that you are downloading apps and content from trustworthy sources. And, of course, lock your phone to be safe.