How to Protect Your Mobile Phone Privacy: How safe is the information on your phone or tablet?
True, unless you’re a famous celebrity, having your phone hacked is unlikely to make national headlines, and your intimate images are unlikely to be leaked to the public.
Even if you don’t get a lot of press, having your phone hacked may be a big infringement of privacy and quite expensive.
We use our phones for a variety of things: surfing the web, shopping for new outfits, checking our credit card accounts, and taking personal images.
Mobile Device Privacy Tips & Tools
If someone gains access to your phone or discovers a way to hack it, they can exploit the information on it to shame you, take your money, track your location, or worse. Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can take to protect that information.
Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can take to protect that information.
Limit the information that your apps have access to
Your phone will prompt you to confirm the app’s access needs when you install new apps.
Apps typically require access to your files (to save items), camera (to capture photos), and possibly GPS (to provide location-specific content). Some apps may require even more information, such as your contacts or profile information.
While it’s nearly hard to operate a smartphone without granting apps access to some of these features, you shouldn’t agree to the terms of every app’s access. Many applications generate money by selling your data to advertising, so it’s understandable that they want more access than they need. Is it necessary for your flashlight app to know your location, for example?
If you don’t like the level of access that an app requires, look for a similar program that requires less.
Install a Security App
Why would you leave your phone vulnerable if you wouldn’t leave your device unprotected? It makes no difference what operating system your mobile device runs or how secure the manufacturer claims it is: if you use it to access the Internet, it is exposed to assault.
For every sort of gadget, there are numerous anti-virus and anti-malware apps. Firewall apps are also useful for ensuring that no apps are sending or receiving data that you aren’t aware of.
Keep it on the App Store
Even if your phone permits you to install apps outside of the app store, you should definitely avoid doing so.
The app store on your phone provides enough malware security. Not only are apps scanned for malware before being added to the store, but your phone may also scan app-store installed programs on a regular basis to guarantee they are still safe. External sources, such as files downloaded directly from third-party websites, cannot guarantee the same level of security.
Disable the “Unknown Sources” option in your phone’s security settings if you’re using Android:
This ensures that only apps from reputable sources are installed.
Keep Your Lock Screen Safe
Even though it appears to be common sense, the majority of people nevertheless fail to do so. It’s inconvenient to have to type a password every time you want to check your phone, but it’s worth it. If you lose your phone, the burglar will have access to everything on it, including your personal information, images, Facebook account, and shopping apps, if it does not have a secure lock screen. Is your browser capable of remembering your passwords? If this is the case, the thief can now log in to any website using the saved password.
With just a swipe, do you still feel safe?
Also, don’t go for the pattern. Sure, it’s more secure than a swipe, but only by a hair. Take a good look at your phone’s screen for a bit. Allow it to receive some natural light. Do you see anything? If you’ve been securing your phone with a pattern, it’s probably there in front of you. Every day, we turn our phones on dozens (if not hundreds) of times. Unless you clear your screen after each use, your pattern will most likely be visible to others.
Don’t put your privacy in the hands of someone who doesn’t know your PIN or password.
Set Up Find My Phone
You’re missing out on one of the most powerful security tools available if you haven’t enabled these settings on your phone. It’s also free on most phones. If you misplace your phone, the Find My Phone function will use your phone’s GPS to help you locate it. If your phone is nearby, some services may even let you ring it.
If you can’t get to your phone straight away or are concerned that it has been stolen, you can also remotely wipe all of your personal information. This way, even if someone cracks your newly established, super-secure lock screen password, they won’t be able to locate anything on the phone.
Keep in mind that public networks are just that: public
Data plans are costly, and no one wants to waste their valuable gigabytes when they can surf for free at a nearby coffee shop. When you join a public network, however, your device becomes accessible to everyone else on the network. Anyone with access to public Wi-Fi can snoop on other users in the area.
Consider using a VPN service if you need to access secure sites or sensitive data while you’re out. Virtual Private Networks encrypt your data so that no one else on the public network may see what you’re doing. Many companies provide employees with a VPN service that allows them to connect to the company network from anywhere. This feature is also available on some home routers.
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