Think about how often you use your phone to share personal information about yourself. With the amount that we tend to use our phones every day, it’s amazing that so many people don’t even consider the security of their data.
Think, would you be comfortable with someone going through your photos, reading all your messages, accessing your web history, and more? If course you wouldn’t. No doubt you share your personal information on messages, plus some sensitive content that you’d rather the world didn’t have access to.
If you’re not taking care of the security on your smartphone, then it is possible for hackers to gain access to your files and misuse them. This is something that you should be very concerned about – it happens all the time, especially on public Wi-Fi networks such as in libraries and cafes.
How to protect your smartphone from hackers
First of all, you should download an effective antivirus app from a reputable developer. There are many to choose from, but we can suggest a couple for you here.
Avast Mobile Security
This antivirus app will protect your smartphone from malware and can also be used to block calls, lock apps with a PIN code, clean junk files from your device, and you can even activate the Avast Secureline VPN from the app to protect your data while you browse the web.
Avast Mobile Security is free to use, although some features do require an upgrade to the paid version. Most of the features can be used for free seeing as the app is supported by ads. This is a fair price to pay considering you get some considerable antivirus protection on your device with the app.
Another great feature of Avast Mobile Security is that you can set it up so that if your phone ever gets stolen, you can simply log on to your Avast account remotely and wipe all your data from the device, as well as lock the thief out of the phone. This could potentially stop your data from being at risk and stop a dishonest thief from ever being able to access your phone.
For the most part, the McAfee Security app does the same job as Avast Mobile Security. The app also comes with a secure photo vault with PIN protection, just in case you want a place to keep those ‘sensitive’ shots that you were going to send to your partner.
Most of the key features on the app are free, but if you want to activate the full VPN protection, then that will cost extra. For the most part, the app works smoothly and it will provide you with great support against malicious websites and malware attacks.
This is a very clever app that stops other apps on your phone from having unnecessary permissions. For example, if you need to allow an app access to your location to sign in somewhere, then you can allow it permission to your location for a set amount of minutes. After that, the permission is removed once again so that those apps can’t spy on your while running in the background. This also means that apps don’t drain your battery life by using permissions in the background.
Bouncer is a one-off payment of $0.99 and then you can enjoy it for the rest of your life. It’s an essential app for anyone concerned about privacy.
This privacy-centered mobile browser app is ideal for anyone who doesn’t want their personal information to be tracked and stored while they’re browsing the web. Online trackers keep hold of information that can be used to identify you and they can also keep the websites you visit on record. This information is then sold on to whoever pays for it.
People are increasingly concerned about this fundamental breach of privacy. Mozilla have responded by creating Firefox Focus – a privacy focused browser that blocks all ads and trackers and completely removes your browsing history whenever you close the app.
This app is completely free to use, although it is worth noting that you can only have one tab open at any given time when using it. It’s completely stripped down of all unnecessary features which means that it’s quicker to use and you don’t have to worry about forgetting to close that embarrassing tab you had open the last time you used your browser.
Set a PIN for your phone
Now that fingerprint scanners are a thing, most people will have their phone locked by default, but seriously, if you don’t, then do it now. If someone can gain access to your phone then they can horde data about you and find out all your passwords. It’s simply not worth taking the risk.
Set two-step verification for email
Another really important security measure is to set two-step verification for your email account. This measure will ensure that someone cannot hack your email account as they would also need to have access to your mobile to get the text message with the verification code to sign in.
This is an incredibly important security feature because if someone has access to your email then they can start going on social media websites, online banking, and just about anything else, then type in your email address and select ‘forgot my password’ and have a new one sent to that email. This compromises all of your accounts, so make sure that your email account is secure.
Note: make sure that you disable this feature if you’re traveling abroad, as you won’t be able to receive the SMS with your login code if you don’t have access to your mobile service provider.
Securing your smartphone is so important. So much of your personal data is stored on it. If it goes missing, then you’re kind of screwed, so make sure that you keep your data secure and stop trackers from stealing it while you browse. And make sure you lock your phone.