A smartphone has become more important in our life. There is so much data that we put in our smartphones, from email, contacts, to banking information. As such, hackers have become more interested in hacking a smartphone. There are no gadgets that cannot be hacked but there are things you can do to minimize the risk of getting hacked.
1. Update Your Phone
One of the easiest things you can do to protect yourself from hackers is by installing a new update for your smartphone the moment it is launched. Yes, updating your phone might take time and it can be annoying, but it is important. In many cases, a hacker is able to hack a smartphone by exploiting vulnerabilities on it. By making sure that the software of your smartphone is up-to-date, you can ensure that there are no vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit.
If you use an Android smartphone, then it is better to not root your phone. If you use iPhone, the term “root” is known as jailbreak. A smartphone that has been rooted is less safe because hackers can do many things on it that usually cannot be done on a normal smartphone.
2. Be Careful of Applications You Put in Your Smartphone
Even if you install an application from an official application store, such as Google Play Store or Apple App Store, you still need to be careful of what you install. When you are about to install an application, usually you will be asked to give it many permissions, from access to your camera and microphone to access to your file.
If the application needs to access certain files or features on your phone to do its function, then it is okay to give it access. But there is always a chance the app developer will abuse the trust you put on them. You must be even more careful if you use an Android smartphone. Just like Apple, Google vets applications that enter Play Store. But Google’s process is not as strict as Apple. So you might find a malicious application on it.
You should not install an application from an unknown source either. Because there is a chance that the application has been tempered and been injected with malware.
3. Always Log Out
Typing a password to login into an online service can be a chore sometimes. It is much more convenient to use auto-login or not logging out once you are done using a service. But it endangers yourself and your data. If someone is able to access your browser, then they might use your online accounts, from social media to e-commerce account.
In an ideal condition, you should never use auto-login. But, it is too much of a chore, then the least you can do is to use a password manager. That way, at least you will be asked to type in the master password. You should not use the same password for every online account you have. Because if one of those services is hacked, then all of your online accounts are at risk of being hacked too.
4. Always Lock Your Phone
One of the easiest ways to make sure that your smartphone is secure is by activating its lock. Usually, you can choose a password or a passcode that consists of six numbers. Nowadays, there are many smartphones that have a fingerprint sensor, making it easier for you to unlock your phone instantly. All of these methods might not be perfect, but they are still better than nothing at all.
5. Do Not Use Open WiFi
Many hotels, cafes, restaurants offer free WiFi. Unfortunately, that WiFi usually is an open network. Ideally, you should avoid using open WiFi because it means hackers can see what you are doing online. If you have to use an open WiFi, you should not do a transaction online.
Another thing you can do if you have to use an open WiFi is using VPN. VPN such as TunnelBear or CyberGhost will route your traffic to an encrypted channel. It means that even if there is someone who is watching you, they will not be able to see what you are doing.
6. Activate a Feature to Track Your Phone
No matter how careful you are, there is always a chance of your phone getting stolen. That is why it is better if you prepare yourself. You should activate a feature on your phone to track it. You can also activate another feature that will enable you to erase all the data on your phone if it ever gets stolen.
Both Apple and Google offer “find my device” so you can track your phone regardless of the operating system you prefer.