Before smartphones were a thing, people didn’t take cell phone security seriously. After all, besides a few phone numbers, some games and maybe a couple blurry pictures, what was actually saved on an old school cell phone?
However, now that more and more people do everything on their phones, from logging into their bank account to even their entire job, cell phone security has become much more important.
Statistics show that while most smartphone users take some smartphone security steps, only 22% do regular phone security measures while most just do it when it’s convenient. As smartphone users, we need to make smartphone security our top priority.
Here is how to protect yourself from cell phone cyber threats:
Why you should protect your phone
Getting your phone hacked into can result in major financial trouble as well as privacy invasion. We store everything on our phones, which is convenient but also concerning. Hackers are becoming more resourceful, powerful and quick to act, especially when they have the opportunity to hack a cell phone.
Keeping the information safe that you store on your phone as well as when you use WiFi on your phone when logging into your accounts is extremely important to avoid any stressful situations.
Phone security mistakes to avoid
The number one mistake anyone can make is not having their phone password protected. Additionally, people make the mistake of logging into personal accounts through public WiFi. Finally, people do not password protect their phone which can cause anyone to access their personal information if their phone gets stolen.
Tips on how to protect your phone
Here are the best things you can do to protect your phone:
Try to not use public WiFi as much as possible.
Public Wifi makes it easy for hackers to access your phone and steal your person information. If you do use public WiFi, try not to login to any personal accounts.
Know that if you do use public WiFi, that you are easy prey for cyber hackers to steal your information and even your identity.
Always keep your phone password protected.
This is a must. All it takes is one moment of letting your guard down or forgetting your phone for it to get into the wrong hands. Create a passcode for your phone, and don’t make it an obvious one, such as your birthdate or “1111”.
Make sure to create strong passwords for all of your accounts
Similar to the last step, and make sure that your account passwords are hard to guess, and don’t use the same password for every account.
Additionally, don’t have your passwords written down anymore that is easily accessible, such as your wallet or daily planner.
Do all of your phone updates as many of them have new security updates.
Not everyone realizes this, but most updates for your phone have important security updates as well. Always do the updates on your phone when available (and do them as soon as possible).
Additionally, don’t fully rely on these updates to keep your phone and data safe. While they do help protect your phone, you still need to make other efforts to ensure that your phone doesn’t get stolen and/or hacked into.
Use a Security App (That is well-known)
Most security apps do more than just provide antivirus protection. A good mobile security app also provides many other features to protect and store your information.
To choose a security app, make sure that you find one that has the best tools and reputation. Don’t be cheap about your mobile security app. If you can afford an expensive phone, you should be able to afford a security system to protect it.
When looking for an app, also look for one that is 4+ stars and rated by at least 1,000 people on your phone’s app store. Making sure that you choose an app that is long-standing and trusted is obviously important when choosing an app that secures your phone.
McAfee’s Mobile Security & Wifi scan is our suggestion as it has high ratings by thousands of users. It is also available for both Android and iPhone users.
Enable Find My Phone If You Are An iPhone User
You should be able to track your iPhone easily when you lose it. To do so, enable “Find My iPhone” by going to your settings. That way, if you have an iPhone you can easily locate it if it gets lost or stolen.
Enable Find My Device If You Are An Android User
Same thing goes for if you have an android phone. To enable Find My Device, simply go to your Android phone’s settings. Just like having an iPhone, Android phones are expensive and can store valuable information. You don’t want someone stealing your phone and not knowing where it is. Not only do you lose a phone, you are at risk for someone to steal your information, money and even maybe your identity.
Check Any unknown phone numbers that are calling or texting you
Everyone receives calls and texts from unfamiliar numbers. If you are receiving calls from an unfamiliar number, that could be a threat to your personal information as spam callers are good at using scare tactics and other methods to get their victims to hand over their personal information.
Additionally, if you receive texts from unfamiliar phone numbers asking you to open an attachment or click a link, don’t do it! They are more than likely a scam.
You can verify the authenticity of a phone number by performing a reverse phone lookup using National Cellular Directory.
Backup your phone
Backing up your phone is important for many reasons, including for security purposes. Viruses can completely go through your phone, destroying everything saved. While you don’t want to wreck your phone, it can be replaced. However, if you don’t backup your personal data, you can lose a lot of irreplaceable files and information.
Some Final Thoughts…
Always use the above tips to help keep your phone safe and protected. Hackers are fully aware that most people store a ton of personal information on their smartphones. Think about if a hacker was able to see your bank information or even your personal photos. It’s best to keep your phone as safe as possible to avoid a nasty situation.