Owing to the types of gadgets available today each with a unique set of features, the structure of the mobile communications system, cellular phones are significantly more vulnerable to “cellular hacks” than other types of phones.
On analog networks (which, as of late, have been replaced with the two types of digital networks: CDMA and GSM) anyone within your range with a scanner could pick up your cellular signal, and listen to what you are discussing over the phone.
The new move towards CDMA and GSM digital networks, calls are encrypted for your protection, though, eavesdroppers with the right patient can still decrypt these calls, and listen in on your conversation.
With the growth of mobile phone usage, smartphones have become more of a target by several security threats in recent times. It is very key that smartphone users should be more vigilant and be aware of how their device function day in day out.
This writes up covers ways to increase your phone security.
1. Old Hardware
Peradventure you have a smartphone that no receive software updates from the OS company, bear it in mind that your phone security is at risk. The software updates released for any type of smartphone major fixes software vulnerability to hacks, this means patches come with this software update to prevent hacking or unlawful access to your smartphone in any form.
If you have a piece of hardware which is old to receive updates, then you might be opening a wide portal for a security threat.
2. Use security features
Passwords, PIN numbers, pattern lock, and other security measures are designed to safeguard your device from an intruder. Manufactures pre-installed security features for smartphones are another way to increase your phone security, secure folders or hidden folder on your smartphone could also serve as a security vault for your files.
3. Updates and patches
Firmware updates, app updates, and phone patches updates can never be ruled out. As it is believed no perfect system, this brought about software updates for existing apps, prevent security loopholes by updating as it is continually being rolled out by smartphone manufactures on a
As a user who is keen on increasing his/her phone’s security installing updates blocks any vulnerability threat to your phone, through the installation of updates and software patches.
4. App Installation
Whenever you decide to install new Apps from your device’s app center, it is of best interest you install known Apps with positive reviews comment and recommendation on the app center, always tries to avoid apps from an unfamiliar developer. You might want to give new apps in the app center sometime for positive appraisal.
5. Enable Data Encryption
Data encryption on your smartphone prevents stored information on your device from being read by an intruder or through other means. Your smartphone manufacturer might pre-install an encryption method on your phone, if not available a third-party encryption app could be a good use to increase your phone security.
Some encryption app uses 256-bit AES key to encrypt every new file created on your smartphone.
6. Cloud Storage Security
You can as well increase your phone security through cloud storage if best practices are followed; use a unique password that contains the mixture of alphanumeric and special characters.
Also, you must never use the same password for any other account, cloud storage encrypts your data with them, but they encrypt it with their own key. Ensure you encrypt your own data before uploading it to the cloud storage ensures more phone security.
7. Browser Cookies
Browser cookies are digital leftover information about your browsing activities on any browser. Prevent cookies from being accepted in browsers, however, if it’s important you accept cookies, clear off old cookies. Browser information can lead to vulnerability and security issues if not properly managed.
8. Email Security
It is imperative that all email accounts and communications accessed through your smartphone are secured through SSL. Though many email service providers such as Google, Microsoft and others have their emails secured through SSL (secure sockets layer). If for any reason you notice your email server is not secured through SSL, your phone security might be at risk.
9. Lock Your SIM Card
This is another important move to increase phone security when your SIM card is locked, if it is removed from the phone and inserted into another phone or if the previous phone that housed the SIM card is turned off and on back it will request for a SIM lock code before the SI could be accessed. This is a useful security approach when your smartphone or SIM is stolen.
10. Use System Keyboard or Trusted Keyboard
Keyboards play a major role in the use of a smartphone, it is used to input information, data and other details that might be needed on the phone. It captures all keystrokes, typing heat maps.
Based on this, keyboard installed on your smartphone must be a trusted keyboard made by trusted organizations like Google, Microsoft, because keyboards record everything data like User ID, Password, Debit & Credit Card detail, Massages. This is an indication that you must install a trusted keyboard on your device to increase your phone security.
11. App Only Required App Permission Should Be Allowed
Some apps are developed by programmers needs a certain level of permission to function properly on your device. Granting unnecessary permission to apps could challenge your phone security.
Giving extra permission to an app would lead to misuse of information and data. Imagine, you install a navigation app then it is requesting for permission to you Call, Message, etc. Never give extra permission to an Application.
12. Do not use cracked or cloned app
Most of the times cracked apps allows you to use paid apps for free, however never use cracked or modify app because they may contain lots of virus and malware that can damage your phone security and easily access your private data because they are not from a trusted source, thereby putting your phone security at risk.
13. Use WiFi securely
When browsing the internet through an external WiFi network, always be cautious, due to the fact that any information or data sent over an external wireless connection might not be secure, and could be subject monitoring by anyone on the network.
Airport, public places, café network is a no option if you want to have secure communication on your phone. If you need to browse with a public network avoid sending an email, perform online shopping, online banking, or any form of personal task on the public network.
14. Secure Browsing
Always be bent on visiting the website that is secured through SSL on your mobile Phone. It is very key to use secure connections whenever you are visiting any website. Websites with no SSL certificate are very risky to access on your mobile device. Several trusted websites have configuration options to force these secure connections.
15. Be careful with Attachments
As we are all aware that clicking on unverified links sent to you over email could lead to virus or malware being downloaded and installed on your device. Avoid attachment from an unknown source, and be sure your email has a pre-installed verifying antivirus.
Do not be quick to open your email spam folder and do not download any attachments in the spam folder.
16. Erase a Lost phone/Find a lost phone
Most smartphones are equipped with erase/find phone features. This could be done remotely either on your iPhone or Android smartphone. This free service that should be installed on your device as it could save your data if your phone got stolen. To increase your phone security, this is a very important tip.
17. Antivirus and Internet Security Software
Anti-virus are apps installed to reduce potential risk to security breaches on the mobile phone. You can manually use your device antivirus or Internet security App to scan files for any form of security issues thereby increasing your phone’s general security. You can install anti-viruses like Kaspersky, Avast and others.
18. Use Strong Password for any Payment Platform
You can afford to lose your hard earn money to scammers, rippers and mobile phone hackers. Choosing a strong password for all your payment platforms available on your mobile phone will help you stay safe from phone security issues.
You can as well use password management apps from a trusted organization such as Apple, Google or Microsoft to secure you everyday login password.
19. Diagnostic Log Sending
Make sure you turn off diagnostic log sending on most of your app, most diagnostic report or crash report are accompanied with personal data from your phone which could be a potential risk to you.
20. QR Codes Scanning
Be sure that there are several malicious QR codes scanning being printed all over the place, malicious QR codes when it scanned with your phone could lead to downloads of a malicious or dangerous app which could wipe out your device or break your phone. Be sure to scan QR codes from trusted merchant or stores.
21. Enable Two-Step Verification
The two-step verification method is another advance security feature brought to the mobile phone account to prevent hijacking and easy hacking.
With this verification method enabled on your phone, you will need 2 forms of proof to access your account, either through email verification and one-time password authentication. This also will increase your phone security tremendously.
22. Secure your mobile phone’s from untrusted technicians
If at any point in time your mobile device developed a fault, always return the mobile phone to a trusted manufacturer partner’s store to prevent untrusted technician having access to your mobile phone account.
23. Public Charging – Video Jacking
Avoid using public phone charging cable, as it has been reported over time that public phone charging cable could be used to video jack your phone. Be sure to use your own charging cable any point in time.
24. Secure Messaging
Law enforcement agency and other bodies use cell phone tower simulators to snoop data from nearby cell phone users, such cell phone tower simulators are Stingrays, IMSI catchers, dirtbox and others. You can bypass this eavesdropping method by using secure messaging clients on such as Signal or Text Secure, to secure your text messaging communication.
25. Disable Bluetooth If Not Used
Your device Bluetooth is another connectivity port to your phone if left turned on; hackers could explore it and gain access to your device private data, information and important log, through your Bluetooth. It’s also one of the best practices to prevent security risks on your phone.
26. Set up firewalls and spam controls
To increase your phone security it will be of a good choice for you to set up firewalls as it is used in computers. Firewalls help prevent unauthorized connection to your device through any communication port, and also spam controls blocks out and help prevent malicious downloads through the internet.
27. Remove confidential information of the phone
Immediately erasing emails, documents, text messages with confidential/security information from your device would also increase the security of your device. Mobile device features that save account numbers, log-in details should be turned off, however, if it is paramount to leave this confidential data on the phone it is best advised that they are encrypted.
28. Unknown or suspicious Information should not be Opened
Suspicious tweets, text messages, apps, emails should be left unopened and deleted straight out of the inbox. Always verify phone numbers before returning calls or any messages accompanied to avoid security breach on your phone.
29. Use alternative unlocking methods
The newer smartphone has been equipped with advanced security tools for extra protection, such features include fingerprint authentication, iris scanning, and facial recognition in other to gain access to your mobile phone. Enabling these security features gives you an advance control over your phone thereby increasing its security.
30. Turn Off Location Features
GPS location features can be very useful when you are navigating to an unknown destination; the use of GPS maps assists you for easy navigation. However, this useful tool can turn to a security issue for you as some hackers might use it to explore your location in
Safeguarding your phone security is a day to day full-time task which every phone user must be committed to every time.