You know that sinking feeling … when you realize your phone is missing!
Do you Protect Your Phone
That’s happened to a friend of mine. She panicked. Her life revolved around her phone. She posted pictures to Instagram, texted her friends all day long, and made videos for TikTok. More importantly, her phone stored her personal (very personal) photos, and she used apps to maintain her life including her bank account, credit cards, utilities, and everything else you can imagine.
Worst of all, she tired of endlessly entering a PIN and never bothered to set up biometrics, so her phone, and her life, was wide open to anyone.
What happened? Some malicious individual drained her bank account and credits cards, dropped her very personal photos on some explicit web sites, and deleted her social media and TikTok. Just like that, her life changed for the worse.
What She Did Wrong
She didn’t practice basic phone and internet security best practices.
- She didn’t protect her phone with a PIN or biometrics.
- Her apps used simple-to-crack passwords.
- She set her phone as the source for her 2-factor authentication, when she used it at all.
- Every online account had easy-to-guess passwords.
- She didn’t back up the data in her phone and her social media accounts.
The list of the ways she left herself open to attack goes on.
What You Can do to Protect Your Phone
- Set your phone to unlock with a PIN or passcode.
- Lock your home screen when you are not using your phone.
- Alternately, use biometrics such as you fingerprint, retina, or face.
- Keep your phone software, including the operating system (usually Android or iOS) regularly.
- Ensure you install any security updates.
- Keep your data backed up.
- Go to settings and turn on the app to help you locate your phone. Sometimes these apps allow you to wipe your phone clean of data on command.
- Download apps only from trusted sources.
- Don’t fall victim to phishing attempts from text and email messages.
- Log out of sites after making any payments or any other activity.
- Look into purchasing mobile protection to get a replacement device if your phone is lost, stolen, or damaged.
- Don’t leave the phone anywhere out of sight. It’s too easy for someone to quickly snatch it up if you look away for a moment.
- Install an app such as Robokiller or Firewall to help you screen you calls and reduce or eliminate spam calls.
- Don’t use public ports (including public power strips) to charge your phone. Remember, the charging cable is also a data cable, so hackers can actually use it to hack into your phone. This is known as “Juice Jacking”.
- Define all your online accounts with 2-factor authentication if it is available.
- Turn off your bluetooth when you are not using it since bluetooth can be used to attack your phone.
- Don’t jailbreak or root your device.
- Don’t use public hotspots, or, if you must, ensure you use a VPN.
- Use a password vault such as Stick Password or 1password to store your passwords and usernames.
Don’t let this happen to you. practice good security. It’s not difficult.
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