How much personal data is stored on your phone and what would happen if a hacker managed to gain access to it? Scary to think about, right? Don’t start deleting just yet—use these cellphone security tips to help keep your phone and data safe instead.
Update Your Mobile OS
Have you been ignoring the little red notification telling you there’s a new operating system available for download? Stop ignoring it and upgrade your phone —your cellphone’s privacy might depend on it. New operating systems have fixes to help protect your data against bugs and other possible security issues.
Lock Your Home Screen
This is one of those phone security settings you should definitely be using. If you don’t already need a passcode or fingerprint scan to get into your phone, you may want to adjust your settings to add this layer of protection. Set your phone to lock after 5 minutes of inactivity. Less time if you really want to be secure.
Store Passwords in Encrypted Apps
You probably have to enter another password or use your fingerprint to access your passwords already, but why not take the extra step and use a password manager or password safe app to further encrypt your passwords list?
Avoid Public Charging Stations
Replenish your phone at home and only charge it in public if it’s an absolute emergency. Simply plugging your phone into a hacked outlet can give hackers plenty of access to the information on your phone.
Be Careful on Public Wifi
Free wifi always seems exciting… until your sensitive information is stolen. Never do any online banking on public wifi and avoid using any apps or sites that require passwords on public wifi. Consider using mobile VPN to add a layer of security. But remember, you get what you pay for so think twice about trusting a free VPN service with your personal security.
Set Up a Phone Finding App
Phone finding services and apps not only help you locate your phone if it’s stolen, they allow you to delete the contents of your device from afar, preventing thieves from making off with both your hardware and your personal data.
Consider what permissions you give an App Settings
Be wary when downloading and setting up apps that ask for permission to access your files, microphone or other elements of your device. These settings can make you susceptible to hackers. It’s also a good idea to review the apps you have already installed to see what kind of permissions or settings they’re using.
Turn Off Auto Login
Auto login is super convenient. Remembering and typing passwords can be a pain. But if someone else gets into your phone, they can also get into every service you have set up with an auto login. If that service has banking information, that’s not great news.