Modern smartphones can make modern life incredibly convenient. Your high-street shops, your bank, and your family and friends – are all in the palm of your hand.
However, all that information being stored in one place can also attract criminals, hackers, and scammers.
Cybercrime has risen sharply in recent years. So whether you use your phone for business or simply for everyday things, keeping it secure is important.
Here are five ways in which you can increase the strength of your phone’s security:
Create strong passcodes, use biometrics
Try to avoid using passcodes that reflect other aspects of your personal data. Birthdays, especially, are something that you should avoid. Snippets of addresses are another no-no when choosing passwords.
A password or passcode generator can do this job for you. If you choose your own, be sure to make it something that is more obscure and includes a mix of letters, numbers, and punctuation.
Utilizing the biometric barriers that most modern phones have is one of the best methods of physically securing your phone. Fingerprint and eye scanners will only be triggered by you, keeping your data safe if your device goes missing or is stolen.
Turn off location sharing
The sophisticated schemes that some criminals use might mean that they don’t need to physically access your phone in order to use it to get up to no good.
Hacking into your phone may allow them to track your movements by using your location services if you have them switched on at all times.
While great for maps and other services, be sure to turn off this feature when not in use just to be on the safe side.
Install a VPN
If you are on the move a lot and regularly use your mobile over public networks, downloading a VPN for Android or Apple devices can help.
This stops those who might be snooping on these networks from accessing your activities.
For example, if you are using your mobile banking and do not have a VPN switched on, hackers may be able to get in and steal money from you.
Don’t store sensitive information on your phone
You may need to provide images of documents like your passport or driving license – for example, if you are applying for a new job or a loan.
Be sure to delete these immediately after use – not forgetting your ‘deleted photos’ folder. If you are connected to a cloud-based storage system, this could be hacked, and your identity could soon be used for nefarious means.
Update your phone software regularly
It might put your device out of action for a few minutes, but installing software updates as they become available could make a big difference.
Hackers become less secure as they spend more time trying to get under the skin of older software releases. If your device is a few years old, it’s worth checking to see if you still receive software updates at all. If not, consider getting a newer handset.