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How to Safeguard Your Smartphone from Hackers

December 3, 2014 | By Editor 

Summary

As important as computer security is, so is smartphone security. Given the increase in the number of cyberattacks, it is high time to start talking about smartphone security.

Your smartphone is loaded with personal and professional data that cyber criminals would love to lay their hands-on. Mobile banking and other smartphone-based financial services have become increasingly popular with 45 million people having used mobile banking in 2014. The number is expected to double in 2015.

Yet most mobiles are not completely protected, and most people use them with less protection . In years passed, most tech experts disagreed on how great the threat to mobile security really is. But as smartphones become more ubiquitous, the growing consensus is that users need to take greater steps to safeguard their data.

How to Safeguard Smartphone

Understand the Threats

Mobile phones are vulnerable to the same virus, Trojans, adware, spyware, and phishing threats as your home PC. There are also some unique risks affecting mobile devices. Downloaded applications are the easiest way for cybercriminals to hack your smartphone’s security. Only download apps from dedicated app stores such as Android Market, iTunes, and Amazon, avoid jailbreaking your mobile.

Jailbreaking can quickly open your device to malware and nullifies your warranty if a virus does occur.

Simple Ways to Protect Your Smartphone

Set a strong password

  • Mobile phones are physically easier to lose or steal than a desktop or laptop system. Keep your data locked up very tight by the security options where most smartphones already offer.
  • Set a strong password and do not share it with anyone.
  • If your mobile is missing, it is advisable to disable your account by contacting your service provider.

Update Operating System

  • Ensure you are running the latest version of your smartphone’s operating system (OS) and apps you might have.
  • Developers of both OS and apps are constantly working to find and remove security exploits or holes that could make your mobile more vulnerable.

Exercise Caution While Surfing

  • When using the Web on your smartphone, give preference to secure HTTPS websites.
  • Never use public wireless networks when conducting any business involving finances or other personal credentials, including login and password details.
  • Turn off Bluetooth and WiFi when you are not using them.

Download Apps from Trusted Sites

  • While apps from Google, iTunes, and Amazon store are relatively secure, other third-party app stores are littered with malware, and unknown third-party websites can be tech nightmare. That is because its devices are very common with the most open development platform.
  • Regardless of what device you have, it is a good idea to read user reviews of each app you plan to download and pay close attention to the permissions it asks for.

Install a Good Security Software

  • In the next two years, it will probably become mandatory to install malware protection, especially if you are making any kind of financial transactions through your mobile regularly.
  • Security software will detect and remove malware and allow you remotely lock or remove data if you lose track of your smartphone.

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