Smartphones are both a curse and a blessing. Thanks to cell phones, we are always accessible, no longer need a separate camera for snapshots, can communicate with friends or check our account balance anywhere. But precisely because we store more and more data on them, cell phones are a popular target for criminals. We had already told you some time ago five tips on how to protect your smartphone from hackers. Today, here are more tips on how to increase cell phone security to prevent sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.
Start with the basics
If your phone is hacked, it feels like breaking into your home – maybe even worse. It is a Massive breach of privacy and it can take quite a while until the full extent becomes apparent. Cell phones are small devices that can easily be lost or stolen. You are constantly sending and receiving signals, so you are always a target for criminals. This is what you should protect it against. This includes updating the operating system, a lock screen, anti-virus programs and trusted apps. It goes without saying that you should not click on any dubious links. So much for the basics. But you can and must take other measures to protect your smartphone from hackers.
Let’s start with the issue of Internet connection. Actually public WLAN spots are a great thing. They are available in more and more shopping malls, cafes, airports and other public places. But they are a risk factor for the data on your phone. Therefore, try to use the normal private mobile connection or use a VPN app with an encrypted connection. Also, disable Bluetooth if you don’t absolutely need it. By the way, public USB ports are also a way to give hackers access to a smartphone. Therefore, you should always use your own adapter to charge your phone.
Only install trusted apps
Another gateway is your cell phone number. You should not carelessly give them to apps. After all, you do not reveal them to everyone who asks for them. The cell phone number can be used for hacking attacks via SMS, for example. Apps are a touchy subject anyway. Only apps from the App Store can be downloaded to an iPhone – at least without a jailbreak – and those have usually been reviewed by Apple. It’s different with Android smartphones, on which apps can be installed from sources other than the Google Play Store. Whoever does this should be aware of the security risk, because the apps could be hacker malware.
However, even with trustworthy apps it is said: Watch out! Always check what permissions you give an app. Most of the time, access to the camera, microphone, your contacts or location is requested. Do you really want this? Such permissions can be easily disabled, and you should do so if they are not absolutely needed for the app’s functionality. On an iPhone you will find Settings> Data protection the list of all apps and permissions. There is no single path for Android devices. On a Samsung Galaxy it reads Settings> Apps> App permissions (via the three dots in the upper right corner), on a Google Pixel Settings> Apps& Notifications> Advanced> Permissions manager.
Hide private data on social media
Caution is also advised when sharing information on social media. It is all too easy to disclose private data such as one’s own name or home address there. Here you should Privacy settings of Facebook& Co. use, To hide such details from the public. By the way, this also works with photos and friends lists. Speaking of photos: They like to geo-tag them so that everyone can see where they were taken. This is also data that should not fall into the wrong hands. Therefore, it is better to back up the photos regularly on the PC and remove them from the cell phone.
Use two-factor authentication
Even if it is annoying – the two-factor authentication (2FA) has its justification. It provides an additional way to protect your phone from hacker attacks. It is well known that most people do not put much effort into creating passwords, which are therefore often easy to crack. Therefore, two-factor authentication is definitely a useful invention. Speaking of passwords: It should be known by now that the name of the dog, one’s own date of birth or the number sequence 12345 are not really suitable for this purpose. Secure passwords consist of 16 to 20 characters and are a combination of letters and numbers, upper and lower case letters and special characters. They make life difficult for hackers – and that should be the goal.
Switch on the integrated device protection
Smartphones are not called that for nothing. Their smart features are useful even if the cell phone is lost or stolen. Many devices can be tracked and thus recovered. In some cases, it is even possible to delete data remotely, for example if the password has been entered incorrectly too often. Of course, having the contents of your phone backed up automatically is helpful in such cases, because then the data won’t be lost forever.