As Gandalf once said: ‘Is it secret? Is it safe?’ Ok, so he was talking about the ‘one ring to rule them all’, not Frodo’s mobile data. But you get the idea. In the Digital Age, at a time when we’re sharing more and more information about ourselves with more and more people – from personal information to buying preferences – we want to know that our information is kept secure from those looking to steal or exploit it. Companies always assure us they keep our personal information safe, and for the most part we have to believe them. (We could investigate further by actually reading the Terms & Conditions, but who has the time or the inclination to do that?) You can be proactive and help keep your personal information away from prying eyes (and those pesky marketing email spammers) by using these top 10 security hacks.
LOCK IT DOWN
Locking your screen won’t prevent someone intent on stealing your phone from doing so, but it will stop them from accessing your information. In this case your biggest worry is simply replacing your phone, not worrying whether your personal information has been compromised (or whether those ‘private’ selfies have been leaked on the Internet).
After locking your screen, the next line of defense is setting passwords for any and all programs that have this feature. Apple and Android phones have many built-in security features that can protect your personal information. From basic password protection to data encryption, these services make it easier for you to safeguard your phone.
DO NOT SAVE
Avoid having all important passwords saved in your phone, particularly when it comes to banking or payment apps. Your best bet is always to remember, not to save, your passwords. Yes, it takes more time always typing them in, but better safe than sorry.
Only use secure networks when out in public. If you download data over the air or via an unsecured public WiFi network you may be leaving yourself exposed to unscrupulous hackers. Don’t engage in online banking or access sensitive information on an unsecured network. Limit your browsing to normal web usage unattached to your personal information.
NO AUTO PILOT
Your phone is always roaming for a connection or downloading data. Turn this feature off and only link to networks you know and trust. Forget networks you no longer use and even configure your phone to automatically turn on/off WiFi in certain places using a location-aware app.
INSTALL ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
There is a wide variety of anti-virus apps available for your phone. Some of these are even free, so using them is a win-win. As our digital lives become more and more mobile, so the threat of hacking has expanded from our desktops and laptops to our mobile phones.
TRUST IN THE SOURCE
You wouldn’t buy something if you didn’t know its maker or its source. So too with downloads. If you don’t know the site, don’t download from it. Only use trusted and reputable download sites, such as Google Play or iTunes and the App Store. If you’re not sure, research the site first.
Updates to your OS often include repairing vulnerable penetration points or strengthening your phone’s security software. Set automatic updates or install them manually. Whatever you do, keep calm and keep updating.
If you get a text from someone you don’t know, don’t reply. Delete and block that person. If you get an email from someone you don’t know, don’t reply or click on the link. Delete and block that person. If you doubt its authenticity then it’s no doubt it’s a phishing scam.
If your device is stolen, there are apps that can remote lock your phone or even wipe the contents from it. Popular apps include Cerberus and Avast Mobile Security. However, we caution that you know for certain your phone is lost before wiping the data. You don’t want to wipe and then discover you simply left your phone in the car!
As for a secure bet with smartphone repair, you’re in safe hands with Repair Express. Screen replacements, water damage, unlocking and even computer repair – you name it, we match the best quality with affordable prices and a can’t-be-beat warranty. Contact Repair Express in Vernon, West Kelowna & Penticton today to learn more.