5 tips to secure your mobile phone

Be secure on your mobile phone:Two people texting on their cell phones

Everybody has a mobile phone. The chances are good that you are reading this on your phone. We do almost everything from our phones, and that means our phones have access to a lot of personal data.

Your smartphone is essentially a mini-computer. So most of the threats we face on our PCs apply to our phones too. Websites that contain malware can infect a mobile device and compromise both your data and device.

In 2021, securelist.com detected 3,464,756 mobile malicious installation packages. That’s a lot of malware! So it’s important to keep your device as secure as possible.

No, we won’t get into the “Android is better than Apple (or not)” debate here. Instead, let’s look at the five simple ways to improve your phone security, regardless of what phone you prefer.

1. Use a passcode or biometrics

The first, and most important tip: keep your phone locked while not in use, and use a passcode or biometrics to unlock it. This way, your device and data cannot be accessed unless the attacker knows your code (or steals your hand).

2. Encrypt your data

It’s always a good idea to encrypt your device. Then if your phone is lost or stolen, the data is still protected. Encryption makes the data unreadable without decryption. The process for encryption does depend on your device and the version of operating system you use, so you may need to do some research.

3. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

If you connect to public WiFi networks often, make sure to use a VPN. There have been incidents where public hotspots have been compromised and used to steal people’s data. By using a VPN, your traffic is encrypted. This prevents anybody from stealing your data. It also makes sure that any sites or services that don’t use HTTPS won’t be subject to man-in-the-middle attacks.

4. Keep the phone up-to-date

Update, update, update! It’s important to keep your mobile OS and your apps up-to-date. These updates will often include security updates to help protect against new vulnerabilities.

5. Only install apps from trusted parties

Be very careful when installing apps from third parties. The official app stores generally scan apps before allowing distribution, to make sure that they don’t put your device in any danger.

As always, please share your thoughts and comments. If you enjoyed this, please subscribe to our Security Spotlight series, and get a tip delivered weekly to your inbox.

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