In our increasingly digital world, everyday we expose ourselves to new cybersecurity risks. One of the take homes from cybersecurity awareness month last October was the rise in hacks into everyday mobile phones.
From our mobile phones, to our laptops, to our watches, there is rarely a moment in which we are disconnected. As such, it is important to protect ourselves as much as possible from risks of security breaches. Many of us are permanently glued to our mobile devices. Consequently, it is important to know how to secure your phone.
Top tips to secure your phone
1. Make sure your software is up to date
Regardless of what device you are using, you will probably receive regular notifications advising you to update to the latest software. Whilst these can sometimes take a while, the time spent is worth it. Downloading the latest software is a good preventative measure, making sure you have all of the device’s latest bonuses. Often, software updates are necessary in order to protect from various security problems associated with the manufacturer. By keeping up to date with the latest software updates, you are one step closer to protecting your devices.
2. Secure lock screen
Not having a passcode for your phone is almost an invitation for someone to enter and access your private information. The most simple step you can take is to enable a passcode on your phone screen, meaning that you will need to unlock it with each use. Although facial recognition lock systems have been on the rise, patterns and pins are still thought to be the most secure, according to experts. Full alphanumeric passwords are also known to be secure. When given the option “make passwords visible”, you should always leave this unticked.
3. Antivirus software
Those antivirus reminders pop up for a reason. One of the biggest threats for cybersecurity is a virus. Although this is not as common on mobile devices as it is on computers, the threat still exists. For iPhone users, Apple’s strict control of the App store acts as a shield to the majority of viruses. However, Androids are at risk of many malicious apps. Subsequently, it is wise to use mobile Antivirus software and protect yourself from a nasty virus.
4. Do not download apps from untrusted sources
Unregistered apps also tend to be the least secure. Apps which are not found on your device’s app stores may contain malware which has the potential to put your phone at risk. Malicious code from these apps can break down your software and make changes to your phone from the inside out.
5. Enable location services
Enabling location settings as a security measure may seem illogical but they are designed to help you locate your phone should it be lost or stolen. Find my iPhone on iOS tracks down the location of your phone when it is missing. The sooner you are able to find it, the sooner you can get your handset back and protect anyone from accessing your private information. On Androids, you can locate your device and even ring it, lock it, or erase it, all from Android Device Manager.