Mobile technology has undoubtedly brought many advantages and conveniences into our daily lives. The gifts of mobile technology or technology in general are, unfortunately, taken advantage of by hackers and other cybercriminals. The very same technology that allows us to do and enjoy various things also makes us a target for viruses and other online attacks. This is why it’s crucial to take precautionary measures to secure your phone, and consequently, your privacy.
Phone manufacturers and operating-system developers come up with various ways to enhance security. Hackers and other people with malicious intent will try to find the tiniest crack in your mobile devices, exposing personal information and other sensitive data. Make sure to always be a step ahead of them by learning how to secure your cell phone from these threats. Allow us to walk you through various cell phone security measures you can take on an iPhone or Android phone.
How To Secure Your Android Phone
Android constantly introduces new OS versions and security enhancements or updates. Of course, various factors might keep users from getting the latest Android versions or being in the loop when it comes to mobile security, particularly Android security.
There are several ways to learn how to secure your Android phone. Some are built-in to your device, but all are greatly dependent on your vigilance. We cannot reiterate this enough: be mindful of what you post or share online. Here are some of the security measures to take, from the default and basic to the most advanced.
Take Advantage of Default Security Settings and Features
This will be the first level of security that comes with Android devices. This includes:
- Google Play Protect
Google Play Protect is built-in malware protection that scans android apps in the Google Play Store daily. This means that it identifies and removes malicious apps. It can also automatically scan your apps for malware before and after the installation process. Remember to only download apps from the Play Store or else you open yourself up to being invaded by malware through unsecured apps.
- On-Device Encryption
Phone encryption works along with phone passwords. Once your phone is locked, 256-bit AES standard protection will protect the stored data.
Android offers several screen locks or locking methods. You can set a pin number, pattern or a standard password. Newer Android devices have a fingerprint sensor that allows you to set up a fingerprint unlock.
Another layer of protection to set up is two-factor authentication or 2FA. Once enabled, this form of verification will require two different codes from two different sources. After you enter a password, a code will be sent to your phone that needs to be entered to access your account.
This way, hackers will need more than just your username and password to access your Google account. To set it up, just go to Settings then Security; select Sign in to Google and turn on 2-step verification.
Find My Device
Find My Device allows you to track, lock, and erase your device in case it is lost or stolen. This is quite helpful especially if you have important and sensitive files stored on your device. Activate this by signing in to your Google account then going to Settings, then Security, and finally, turn on Find My Device. Take note that you should have your location turned on.
Android also has a Smart Lock suite including the Trusted Face Recognition and Trusted Voice Recognition features. The first one is a biometric feature enabling you to unlock with facial recognition. It’s best used with a 3D depth-sensing camera since a three-dimensional image is harder to replicate. The second one, as the name implies, unlocks your phone when it hears a trusted voice.
How To Secure Your iPhone
Now let us take a look at how to secure your iPhone. Even though the iPhone is known for its strong security features, this does not stop hackers from targeting iPhones. In fact, some hackers take this as a challenge.
Just like Android devices, iOS devices also have built-in security features. These security features, however, are most useful when coupled with caution on your part as a user.
Take a look at some ways to secure your iPhone.
Set up strong passwords and/or random PINs. Avoid using the obvious, like names, birth dates, ID numbers, or anything similar. You may also choose to utilize a password manager to generate and store strong passwords.
The best user authentication method, of course, is biometrics. This includes fingerprint, voice, or facial recognition.
Find My iPhone
The Find My iPhone feature allows you to find your iPhone in the event it is lost or stolen. Even if it is not recovered, the Activation Lock will prevent anyone else from activating and using it.
Go to Settings, tap [your name], then Find My iPhone. Just enter your Apple ID if you are asked to sign in. Next, tap Find My iPhone then turn on Find My iPhone as well as Find My Network or Enable Offline Finding, and Send Last Location.
Two-factor authentication or 2FA is yet another layer of protection. If you can help it though, do not utilize SMS for 2FA.
Avoid Unsecure W-iFi Connections and Charging Stations
Avoid unsecured connections as well as automatically connecting your iPhone to a saved W-iFi location. This puts you at risk of man-in-the-middle attacks where cybercriminals set up rogue wireless access points. Also, be careful when charging your iPhone in public places as you could fall victim to juice-jackers. If you need to, utilize a USB data blocker so it can safely charge.
Only Get Apps From The App Store
Avoid side loading or installing apps from sources other than the App Store. Since these are not verified, they may be vehicles for malware and viruses.
Avoid Jailbreaking Your iPhone
As a rule, never jailbreak your iPhone since this will make it vulnerable to various threats.
Three Threats To Protect Your Cell Phone From
Hackers and cybercriminals are, in essence, the real enemy. Ultimately, they intend to steal from you (money, sensitive information, identity, etc.) and cause you harm. In line with this, avoid divulging personal details (phone number, social security, credit card details, etc.) through your social media posts, via emails, chats, or text messages. One essential step on how to secure your phone from hackers is to know about the threats you should watch out for.
Commonly known as malware, malicious software is an umbrella term that includes viruses, ransomware, malware, and spyware. These typically consist of codes designed by cybercriminals to infiltrate systems and cause damage or to gain unauthorized access to networks. This can happen via drive-by downloads which could happen when you visit the wrong website or open a malicious email.
Browser exploits take advantage of mobile browser security flaws and the applications that function with it.
These are basically phishing attacks in the application form. Phishing apps are designed to look like real apps and then collect whatever information you key in, including usernames and passwords.
Frequently Asked Questions About Phone Security
What are the most secure phones?
Included in the list of most secure phones are Google Pixel 5, Samsung S20, and the latest iPhones; this is in terms of the security they offer against various threats.
Should I lock my cell phone?
Definitely. This is one of the first layers of protection you can have against hackers and privacy invaders.
What is the most secure way to lock your phone?
Biometric locks, like face and fingerprint recognition, are best since they are unique to the user. A well-thought-of strong password can also suffice
Can someone unlock my stolen phone?
Yes, there are several ways to do this especially if a person is tech-savvy enough. This is why it’s so important to protect your phone with a login pin, passcode, facial ID, and/or pattern.
Do cell phones need antivirus software?
Yes, you may opt to utilize antivirus software as an extra layer of protection, especially from the dangerous malware.