Mobile Device Security – 6 Steps to Follow

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The technology has forced people to reply on their mobile devices. With more and more functionalities, the mobile device carry out our activities such as setting reminders, instant messaging, sharing files, booking appointments, video calling, and mobile banking.

With all of these functionalities, our devices are still vulnerable to online threads and also physical attacks due to their portability. They can be infected with malware specifically designed, like: worms and spyware, phishing, theft, and unauthorized access.

Listed below are practical steps which can help you minimize the digital threats.

Secure Your Mobile Device

1. Use strong passwords

We can use strong passwords in associations with biometric features, such as fingerprint authenticators, retin unlocking, making unwanted access nearly impossible. Your passwords should be eight or even more characters long, and contact all sorts of letters, numbers, characters and more. If your mobile devices allows it, use two-factor authentication.

Do not use the same password in applications, websites, email, etc. It should be avoided at all costs. Since it will only increase the chance of the password being spoofed and all of your accounts hacked. Furthermore, do change your passwords from time to time, or at least every three months.

2. Be cautious when it comes to free Wi-Fi

Everyone likes free Wi-Fi, but free can become expensive if you are not cautious. Most free Wi-Fi networks are not encrypted, and these type of networks will allow malicious individuals to eavesdrop on the traffic, get your passwords, usernames and even sensitive information about you. And the threat isn’t going anywhere.

Use applications which can secure your connection, or at least show the status of the Wi-Fi. And do remember WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) is better and more secure than WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy).

To add another layer of security, when you are not using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, turn them off. In addition it will save you battery and will not let your mobile device connect automatically to unencrypted networks.

3. Use a VPN

Using a VPN is mandatory when you are not sure about the security status of the network which you are connected to – it will allow you to connect to the Wi-Fi securely and without any headaches. Your browsing activity will be also shielded.

The VPN, also helps when you are accessing websites which are less secure and are not using HTTPS, such websites can be visible to anyone who can use vulnerability and networking tools (WireShark, etc.). All of the non-HTTPS websites are vulnerable to MITM (Man-in-the-middle) attacks which can lead to data theft, eavesdropping and password sniffing. You need  mindset when it comes to cyber-crime.

4. Encrypt the device

Encryption is the process of making your data or any data unreadable and decryption is converting the unreadable data to normal readable data. Most devices come with a built-in encryption feature. It can be used when it comes to theft, preventing unauthorized access to your data. You can locate the feature and add / enter a password in order to encrypt the device.

It will take time, depending on how big is your data, what size of data you have, and the more important thing is to remember your encryption password, because it is required by the phone, every time you use it.

Take note, and backup your data to the cloud, because some mobile devices can automatically erase data if the encryption password is entered incorrectly, after “X” times.

5. Install an Antivirus apps

mobile device

The files you download and the apps you install on your mobile device might be packed with malicious code. Once launched, this code could send your data to hackers, thereby making you unsecured and robbing you of your privacy. To avoid that, installing a reputable antivirus application will guarantee your security.

You have to be careful when you download data, images, videos, text notes, apps, etc, because they might be packed with malware. Once you launch the specific apps (for example) your data will be sent to the hacker, robbing you of your privacy. In order to avoid such situations, install a good reputation antivirus application, which will protect your phone. A few of these antivirus apps can be found below:

A few antivirus applications offer to erase your data if you lose your device, blocking and tracking unknown callers, who might be a threat, and even tell you which applications are safe or not.

In addition to the above features, they also clear cookies and browsing history. Note: Cookies are small tokens which are stored on your device.

6. Update your software

There are a number of cases in which the attacker gained access to the persons mobile device because he used an exploit in the device firmware, which was not updated. Please update your device firmware. Major companies, roll out new updates from time to time, be sure to update your device at the right time. The majority of these updates act as patches to the known vulnerabilities.

To consider:

  • Avoid turning on autofill
  • Log out – when not using websites.
  • Use only trusted stores

Securing your mobile device should be your first priority and it is not an easy task. You must be aware of any suspicious activity which occurs on your device as many new vulnerabilities are found every day.

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