Is your smartphone putting your data at risk?

Val Watson
Authored by Val Watson
Posted Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 7:56pm

Our smartphones are now intrinsic parts of our everyday lives. Going way beyond a simple means of communication, these devices are now shopping centers, banks, and even workplaces all in the palm of our hands.

With all that functionality comes a whole heap of data, a lot of it very sensitive. If your details fall into the wrong hands, it could have a serious impact on your life.

Smartphone security has never been more important. Here we’ll look at where threats can pop up and how you can mitigate them.

Threats to smartphone security

  • Phishing: Malicious emails and text messages can be more dangerous on mobile devices, where functionality does not allow for a preview of URLs. Threats can also be found in downloading malicious apps – some of them manage to find their way onto Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Always be sure to download from trusted sources, and if in doubt, don’t tap.
  • Old devices/systems: Older devices will stop receiving security updates over time, while hackers are more likely to find weaknesses in operating systems that have been around for longer.
  • Theft: If your phone is stolen and does not have adequate security in place – a passcode or biometrics activated to get through your lock screen – then your data can be readily accessed.

How to make your smartphone more secure

Being aware of threats and always be cautious when using your smartphone is vital to protect yourself from attacks.

There are also extra measures you can take to ensure your data stays out of the wrong hands.

Use a VPN

A VPN for iPhone can be downloaded, and many Android devices come with VPN capability as standard.

A VPN encrypts your data and masks your IP address – ensuring that snoopers can’t see what you’re doing. This is doubly important if you regularly use public networks.

Utilise your device’s protection

Passcodes, biometric capabilities, and software updates are all designed to keep your phone – and the data stored upon it – safe.

Make sure your device can be unlocked by you and you only, and install software updates as soon as they are available to benefit from increased protection.

Be wary of unofficial apps

Apps purporting to be things like free phone wallpapers, memory boosters, flashlights, and more are often hosts for malicious software.

When downloading apps, check out their reviews and investigate whether the developer has other apps available. If neither are present, don’t download.

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