Your phone is a personal computer – a very handy, portable little machine capable of performing a variety of tasks. We use our phones for everything these days, especially online. Shopping, banking, surfing the internet; all of these activities can put us at risk from malicious software or hackers with bad intentions.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways we can implement proper safety and phone maintenance, keeping our devices secure.
Phone Maintenance – The Physical Aspects
First things first – your phone needs a degree of physical care and attention to keep it performing at its best. Data and device security is a pressing issue, but so is physical security. After all, your device is only secure when you know where it is and when it’s working properly.
One must-have accessory is a solid phone case and screen protector. It can be very tempting to skip over these items, wanting to keep your device looking out-of-the-box sleek. But phone security means keeping the entire device safe, not just the internal workings. External phone maintenance includes:
- Handling your device carefully at all times.
- Keeping your phone away from liquids to prevent moisture damage, as this can compromise the internal workings.
- Avoiding temperature extremes.
- Regularly cleaning your phone, removing the build-up of dirt and debris.
Treating your phone with care and knowing the location is a primary maintenance and security measure. Losing your phone or causing damage to it is a breach – an unauthorised person could potentially use it or data could be lost through irreparable damage.
The Internal Workings – Phone Maintenance to Protect Your Data
With our phones optimised for so many uses, they are capable of performing actions and transactions containing very sensitive information. From our banking details and credit card numbers to personal emails, pictures, and videos, they are a potential treasure trove for hackers and malware. The way you interact with your device is integral to its security – here are the ways you can keep it safe.
First Defenses – Personal Security Measures
Your first line of defence is your device password. Most phones have a variety of security methods when it comes to accessing the device itself. These can range from standard numerical passwords for lock screens to fingerprint I.D. and even Facial I.D. Recognition. Utilise as many of these as you can and, if you are using a numerical password, practice good phone maintenance habits and change it regularly, even if you’re having trouble remembering all those passwords.
2. App Safety
Downloading apps is a potential way to invite malicious software onto your phone, compromising the security of your data. Make sure that any and all apps you download are from a dedicated app store, such as Google Play or iTunes, as this considerably reduces the risk of the app having a virus.
3. Phone Updates
Maintaining your phone by keeping it regularly updated is another way to protect your device security. Updates for the operating system (OS) are designed to improve the way your phone works – and that includes the security measures too. Areas of weakness or vulnerability can be fixed with OS updates, so be sure to keep your phone updated with the latest features.
4. App Security Features
You will notice that some apps have heightened security features. Apps with sensitive personal information, such as those used for banking or making online purchases, often ask for two-factor authentication or additional measures to ensure data safety. Make use of these extra features.
Trouble Remembering All Those Passwords?
When practicing good phone maintenance for security, creating complex and unusual passwords with upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols is encouraged. But with so many applications needing passwords, including the device itself, remembering all of them in each particular order can be tricky.
Consider downloading a password manager, such as LastPass. Password managers take the stress out of remembering difficult passwords – each one, along with personal login information, is stored in a secure vault until it needs to be accessed.
You only have to remember one password rather than many, preventing you from getting locked out of important accounts. Once the Master Password is entered, the password manager will auto-fill web browsers and app logins for you.
If you’re concerned about forgetting the Master Password, fear not – many password managers give you the option to recover your Master Password with Touch I.D. or Facial I.D. Recognition.
Protecting Your Phone While You Browse
Given that your phone is a computer, it is important to treat it like one. After all, you wouldn’t operate your laptop without having the right security software – so why use your phone the same way?
1. Antivirus and Anti-malware Software
To ensure security while you’re engaging in online activities, you should consider downloading Antivirus and Malware software, like Lookout. This particular app is available for Android and iOS devices, and has both free and upgradeable options, depending on the level of security you need.
Keeping antivirus software up to date and active on your phone will greatly reduce the risk of a malicious attack on your device. It protects your data and prevents hackers from obtaining your personal data – both stored on your phone and in Cloud locations.
2. VPN Software
Should you use your phone’s web browsing capabilities in public frequently and connect to unsecured, free Wi-Fi networks, consider downloading and using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. Unsecured public networks are a potential hub of hackers and many devices are not properly secured when they connect – making it easy for information to be stolen.
A VPN is a secure way for your device to connect to the internet, either through encrypting the data passed along the connection or by acting as a proxy, in which you can change or mask your location for anonymous web surfing. SaferVPN is one such app, available for both Android and iOS. Using a VPN is particularly important if you decide to use your device for work, banking, or any kind of sensitive information.
To Sum It All Up
Phone maintenance is a little more than keeping your device clean and looking good.
When you want to make sure your device and your data are safe, performing regular updates, routine upgrades, and ensuring general security measures are functioning properly are all key factors.
Let us know if this advice has helped you, or what other steps you take for your phone’s maintenance!
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