Isn’t it funny how we can place our whole life on a little metal slab that fits into our pocket? Mobile phones have come a long way from having to carry them around in a briefcase, now with the ability to do… well, anything we want really. From paying in shops, tracking our health, socialising, coding, teaching to taking photos, storing music, buying online, web browsing and banking. Mobile phones are at a point where we can truly say we’re living in the future.
Along with all the fantastic features that smartphones come with, there’s also the dark side to being able to do so much. In most cases, they hold more personal and sensitive information than our laptops and wallets, and as phones get smarter, so do the people who want to hack them and steal your information.
To stop that from happening and to make sure your phone is as secure as it can be, we’ve compiled this list of the best things you can do to stay safe.
Don’t jailbreak your phone
Downloading apps from untrusted sources and not from the App Store or Google Play Store opens a window of opportunity for sensitive data to be exposed. Official app providers regulate the apps they allow to be put up for sale on their platforms, but these untrusted sources may not. The app developers could very easily get to your phone through a dodgy app.
Use the inbuilt passcode feature
It’s the simplest form of security but it works to a degree. There are ways for people to bypass this screen but they need specific technical know-how to do so. For the average phone thief, a passcode can’t be broken. While you may not get your phone returned, your personal information will be safe.
Upgrade to the latest OS
Operating system updates can be annoying, but they’re updated for a reason. Operating Systems are frequently tested for holes and loopholes and, once found, the manufacturer can fix these to improve the security. How do they fix these? By working it into the operating system and asking you to update it. Stop pushing ‘remind me later’ and get it done.
While the potential for getting a virus on your phone is pretty low, it never hurts to get an extra level of security to keep things in check. You’re much more likely to have issues with your computer or laptop, but viruses can still be placed on your phone. All the big names have apps so invest in Mcafee, AVG or Lookout.
Lock your sim
If you have an uncapped contract, setting up a sim lock is pretty important to stop thieves running up massive bills on your account. A sim lock will require the user to enter a pin to do things like call people or message people. It’s a little annoying but it depends how much you trust your mobile phone company to reimburse you or compensate you for any charges that are incurred in a robbery.