Keeping your property safe often comes down to common sense, and your smartphone is no different than your PC or home. Taking basic precautions will go a long way toward saving you time and money. Your entire information is traceable and downloadable and may be shared all over the World Wide Web if you are not careful enough.
Here are some important tips to secure your smartphone and what you store on it:
1. Screen lock.
Setting up a screen lock is the simplest way to protect Android when your phone or tablet falls into the wrong hands. You can have a screen lock and encryption enabled to further enhance your security. There are many types of screen locks available for you to choose from such as password, pin, pattern and face unlock, available in your Android settings. Head to Settings > Security > Screen lock to get started.
2. Lock Your Apps and Media
It is necessary to lock your apps, especially the ones holding private information that you wish nobody but you could see. You can add an extra layer of protection to your apps by locking down those you really wouldn’t want to get into the wrong hands with an app such as App Lock.
This is a second layer of security to prevent anyone from using your lost device particularly if they have managed to bypass your locked Android.
3. Backup Your Phone Data
It’s not just the fact that our data might get into the wrong hands when our device is lost or stolen that it worrying – it’s also the fact it will no longer be in our hands.
This is more about protecting and restoring your information should disaster strike. With Backup Assistant Plus and Verizon Cloud, you can save your contacts, music, pictures, videos and documents to the cloud.
4. Set up Remote Tracking.
So you have a backup already but you really want to get your lost device back. Well, as the smartphone industry would have it, your phone is built to be trackable, via GPS. The catch is, you have to enable GPS on your phone for it to be tracked.
Android Device Manager is an excellent tool for tracking down and, if necessary, wiping a lost or stolen Android phone or tablet. It’s a free app for your phone or tablet from Google Play, but can also be accessed on any web browser in which you are signed into a Google account.
5. Use Secure Wi-Fi or Network.
One of the most important thing in protecting your Android Phone or Tablet is to secure your network. Smartphones and tablets are mobile devices, which means we are as likely to use them in a cafe or pub as we are our own homes. Provided free Wi-Fi is available, of course. Try to avoid using public WiFi whenever you want to do something important like doing your banking online. As long you are sharing the same network with the public, they can easily sniff out your packets and translate it into actual data of your private information i.e. your passwords.
6. Log out of Sites After Make a Payment.
If you bank or shop from your smartphone, log out of those sites once your transactions are complete. Other tips include not storing your usernames and passwords on your phone and avoiding transactions while you are on public Wi-Fi.
7. Keep your OS and apps updated.
There are typically periodic updates to both of these that not only add new features, but also offer tightened security. You should ensure your apps are set to auto-update over Wi-Fi in Google Play’s Settings > General > Auto-update apps menu, and make sure you have have applied any new operating system updates in Settings > About Phone > System updates.
8. Disable Apps from Untrusted Sources and don’t Root or Jailbreak.
Google has no control over apps outside its app store, so only those who really know what they’re doing should even think about sideloading, and doing so only from trusted sources. Whilst it can often be a nice idea to download and install apps that aren’t found on the App Store or Google Play Store, these apps tend to be the ones that are less secure.
Rooting your Android phone or jailbreaking your iPhone can also prove really dangerous, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. This is because it breaks down your OS and provides you access to the basic code within and if you can get access, malicious code has a much easier route to making changes too.
9. Use kid/guest modes to Secure
Kid modes, and to a lesser extent guest modes, are also vitally important. The last thing you want is for your child (or your friend) to be messing around on your phone and to stumble across private data, or to later find that they have inadvertently called your boss whilst you’re sat discussing a job interview.
10. Set up a SIM lock
On top of securing your phone, make sure that you’ve locked your SIM if this is important to you. A SIM lock (sometimes called a SIM PIN or SIM Security) is especially important if you’re tied into an uncapped contract, less so if you’re on PAYG. This is because it requires you to input a PIN before you make a call or send a message, vital if you want to ensure that thieves can’t run up massive bills.