A smartphone today is more than just a phone. A smartphone is a miniature computer used for a wide range of tasks that weren’t possible even a decade ago. Yet despite this drastic increase in smartphone features and functionality, consumer misconceptions about the need for mobile security still exist.
According to research from Norton by Symantec, people may be thinking about their texts, voice messages, pictures and videos when it comes to their smartphones, but maybe not so much their financial and home security apps. This mindset leaves users vulnerable to very real threats.
Adopting these simple tips can help you protect your privacy and increase security on your smartphone.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
Turn on two-factor authentication for your Google, Apple, and other important accounts. This requires that you provide an additional factor besides your password in order to verify your identity. This lowers the chance of an outsider being able to access your account.
Set your smartphone to erase all of its data after 10 failed passcode attempts. The erase data option protects your sensitive information should someone try to hack into your phone.
Delete Text Messages
You should also delete old text messages regularly or set them to be erased after a certain period of time. This will also free up space on your smartphone.
You can control which apps have permission to access personal information such as your calendar, email, and contacts. Go to your smartphone settings to choose which apps to trust with your data.
Stop Ad Tracking
Your cellphone carrier could be selling your information to advertisers. The good news is there are ways to turn off ad tracking on Apple, Android, and Windows devices.
Disable or uninstall apps that you don’t use. People often download an app that they think they need and then forget about it. Take inventory of the apps on your smartphone once in a while to determine whether or not you are really using them.
Encrypt Your Data
If you have an iPhone 3GS or later, setting a passcode automatically enables data encryption. For Android, you can encrypt your device under security settings to make it harder for criminals to access your information.
Change Your Passcode
The passcode, PIN, or swipe pattern that you use for your smartphone needs to be changed regularly like any other password. Also, consider changing to a 6-digit alphanumeric code which is harder to crack than the standard 4-digit passcode.
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