How to keep smartphone data safe: 5 ways that offer relief

Published: September 4, 2017 1:07 AM

Thanks to modern-day smartphones, there’s a tremendous amount of information at your fingertips which you do not want to fall into the wrong hands.

smartphone, mobile, phoneWhile you are downloading apps from Google Play Store, it provides important information about the app such as how many downloads that it has, its rating given by users. (Reuters)

Thanks to modern-day smartphones, there’s a tremendous amount of information at your fingertips which you do not want to fall into the wrong hands. Phones are small and easy to misplace or get stolen in a moment of distraction. Moreover, they are susceptible to hacking when leveraging unsecured public networks. There’s also the issue of malware, which can gain access to your smartphone via the apps you download. Yet most fail to recognise the importance of using sound security practices. Here are five simple ways to keep your mobile device safe.

Keep it simple, lock your phone

A password-driven lock screen is your first layer of protection and it is always advisable to use this. This feature is being provided by almost all the smartphone vendors today and it can help you towards protecting your critical data and messages safe.

To make it easy and simple to operate, you can set your smartphone to autolock only after a short delay of 1 to 5 minutes. By this method, you don’t need to repeatedly put in the password again and again.

And if an unlocked device is misplaced, you still have multiple options to remotely lock your smartphones. There are a number of apps that can help users to remotely lock a smartphone, or even completely clean its memory (Android Device Manager for Android and the iCloud for iPhone).

Download only approved apps

While you are downloading apps from Google Play Store, it provides important information about the app such as how many downloads that it has, its rating given by users. While the Play Store has a lot of apps that are not approved by Google—it is advisable not to download such apps as it might intertwine a web of deceit and you can lose your data or in the case of malware or ransomeware, you can be asked to pay hefty sums for getting access to your data.

Don’t click on suspicious links

Cyber criminals are getting smarter everyday and you can receive emotional messages asking for a click on web links. Never click on such links—especially those coming from unknown sources (at times these messages/links can come from virus affected smartphones from your close friends as well).

One should immediately delete such suspicious text messages from the device, it can trigger an algorithm that can lock your device, giving a remote control in the hands of such criminals. This way cyber criminals can extort money from you to unlock it (ransomware).

Back up your data

Losing your smartphone can be a disaster if you haven’t kept back up of your data on another device or over the cloud. You can start this habit of backing up your data on a regular basis on another device—or if you want an easier way still, there are a number of secure ways to keep your data backed up on the cloud. Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, SkyDrive and iCloud are some of the options.

Use an effective anti-virus

Installing a good anti-virus software can add a much needed protection layer to your device. There are a number of anti-virus apps such as Kaspersky, Trend Micro, Avast which can help towards protecting critical data and make it difficult for scammers to reach inside your devices.

Zia Askari writes on communications, technology and gadgets at TelecomDrive.com

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