We are living in an era where we simply cannot imagine our lives without our smartphones. However, smartphones and their usage are not as harmless as we would like to think. Here are some of the most common risks that affect smartphones, as well as several ways in which you could protect your personal data stored on your mobile devices against unauthorized usage.
Many of us forget about the dangers hidden in smartphones. And yes, just like desktop and laptop computers, smartphones and other handheld devices are susceptible to risks related to personal data protection. One fact that contributes to this issue is that smartphones and other handheld devices are small and portable, meaning that they are easy to lose or misplace. Imagine only how many phones are lost every day in taxis and on the subway! In this way, your smartphone could easily fall into the wrong hands, putting your privacy at risk. That is why personal data protection over smartphones is becoming an increasingly important issue.
In addition to loss, misplacement or theft, one of the major risks related to protecting data on mobile devices are malwares. Nowadays, mobile phones are used more and more for performing various types of financial transactions and online shopping, making them very vulnerable when it comes to personal data protection. In some cases, it is enough for you to visit a certain webpage or download an attachment for a virus or a malware to “visit” your phone and steal your personal data. There are also profit-driven types of malwares, which actually may send expensive text messages to other users without any control or interaction by the owner of the phone.
Prevention is better than cure
Knowing that there are so many ways in which you could lose your precious personal data from your smartphone, how can you protect yourself? Let’s take a look:
1. Password Protection
One of the most effective ways to protect your personal data stored on your mobile phone is to use password or authentication. Fingerprint authentication is another useful protection tool.
2. Disable Bluetooth and take up encryption
Since there are many malwares sent through Bluetooth connection, securing your Bluetooth by making your phone less visible is a great tactic. If you are a bit more IT savvy, protect your phone by means of encryption, using specialized tools.
3. Remote data wiping
Remote data wiping is a great tool you could use in case you lose your phone, allowing you to delete the entire data stored at your smartphone.
4. Keep your operating system up-to-date
Smartphones basically happen to be computing devices that regularly need to be updated. This is basically meant to help you access enhanced functionality and enriched features. By regularly updating your smartphone, you also get to acquire fixes to vital security vulnerabilities.
5. Use public Wi-Fi carefully
In order to keep phone plan costs down, a majority of smartphone users use free Wi-Fi hotspots to access data. However, the fact of the matter is that there are countless threats associated with the utilization of these hotspots. In order to remain safe, it is highly recommended for you to avoid logging into your accounts, particularly your financial accounts when utilizing public wireless networks.