Be smart to secure your smartphone for your own security - Talismanian

Be smart to secure your smartphone for your own security

-Sunitha Hariprasad

Smartphones are the soul companion for everyone. Moreover it is like the personal diary of old times. We are feeding every personal data as well as business data, even bank details in this small device. But sometimes we forget that though it is named ‘smartphone’, it is just a ‘machine’.

The real fact is that there are very few people who understand the importance of securing their smart phones for their own security. The others are not even aware of the potential vulnerabilities they expose themselves to. Lot of people don’t realize that their phone can destroy them if it is hacked by others.

According to study, it has found that over 67% companies had faced data breach as a result of their employees using their mobile phones to access the company’s data. According to the Gooligan hacking campaign, everyday around 13000 devices are infected through apps. Majority of smartphone users are under some sort of illusion that, in order to be protected and untraceable while using your mobile phone, they should give up their comfort and convenience.

For secure data in our smartphones most of us run behind tons of layers of firewalls and proxies, or one of the new and expensive phones that focus on strong encryption. But we are forgetting that even with the latest technologies it can be easily hacked our device as a piece of cake.

We all know that it is hard without a smartphone in these days, so we have to give protection to it as much as we can.

Here are some tips to protect your smartphone for the security of your own:

  • First it is very important that you should know how to properly use your smartphone and create some basic security habits in order not to expose yourself.
  • After purchasing a new phone, spend some of your valuable time to check all of the existent settings of your phone and activate settings like two-factor authentication and automated screen-lock as a first layer of protection.
Two factor Authentication
  • It is very essential that you enforce an automatic wiping of the device immediately after 10 failed login attempts.
  • Most people still don’t realize that using a PIN code to lock your phone is the easiest way to breach. So instead of it, use a unique and complex ‘password’ even if it feels difficult to enter every time, take that as your duty to secure your phone. Another option to use a ‘pattern’ and set it as ‘not visible’ while you draw to unlock your phone.
  • Now a day, ‘Biometrics’ is one of the most secure ways of authenticating oneself. With the latest iPhone, Apple brings back 3D facial technology, in which it uses a host of sensors to map your face in 3D. An infrared light illuminates your face and a projector maps it using an array of infrared dots, then an IR camera snaps and image of those dots and compares it to the image already stored in the phone.

  • Always mind your Apps which you install in your phone. Find some time to check the security specifications of the Apps before installing it. Since Google allowed every phone manufacturer to personalize their own Android version, it’s harder to control the security for every device that runs on Android, exposing users more to potential bugs. So, always use official App Stores only to download and install an App. Disable the option to allow installation of third party apps. Third party Apps usually carry malware that will harm your smartphone.
  • Clueful’ is a free mobile app developed by Bitdefender that takes a look over what permissions are requested by each app and warns you of the potential threats. Alternatively check your apps and uninstall the apps that you are not using anymore.
Clueful app
  • Don’t forget to ‘update your apps’. With each app that remains out-dated, your phone is more vulnerable to infections. Thus, out-dated apps leave your data exposed to attacks.
  • While you are doing web browsing, install an ‘Ad Blocker’. Sometimes ads can be exploited by cyber-criminals. Ad Blocker decreases the chance of getting infected your phone.

  • Blocking pop-ups’ will also help to not to get infected by malware. You can do this from Chrome by clicking Settings-> Site Settings->Pop-ups->make sure it marked as ‘Blocked’. Also disable JavaScript in your mobile browser. This will also help you reduce the data you consume.
  • Cyber attackers can use ‘Phishing’ techniques to withdraw money from you, steal your identity, open credit card accounts in your name and much more. Sometimes not even the strongest antivirus can protect you from phishing and malware. So you should not click on short, suspicious links that you didn’t request. And always be careful with those attachments you download via email or instant messaging services.
  • Enable ‘automatic backup’ in your Android phone. If it lost or stolen, you can get you valuable data from your mail.
  • If your operating system in your Android phone supports ‘encryption‘, then enable it for sure. Once you encrypt it, the phone will ask you to set a password to unlock it and decrypt the data on it. If you forget it, a complete factory reset will get access back into the system.

  • Along with the above security features the most important is ‘install a trustworthy Antivirus software’ and while connecting your phone with other devices, check if it is also having antivirus software in it.
  • Use only a secure wireless connection for data usage or instead use you own mobile data. Of course, it can cost you more, but it will be safe for your phone.
  • If you want to sell your phone don’t forget to do a Factory data reset before you give it away. Through this you can wipe all the data that was stored in your phone, including access to your accounts, system and app data, and settings, downloaded apps, photos, music or any other data.

Always find some time for taking these simple steps for the security of your phone. It’s time to realize that your phone is you. Beware!!

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