An Up-To-Date List of Smartphone Security Tips
After the recent news of a new security bug, I decided it was time for an updated, extensive list of smartphone security tips. iPhones and Android phones require conscious efforts to protect yourself from identity theft and malicious malware.
Here we go over tips for iPhones and Android phones you’ll want to implement immediately.
#1 – Always lock your phone.
This one seems a little too simple for this list, but it is definitely one that is all too often overlooked so I really couldn’t leave it out.
Choose a passcode that you’ll remember, but not one that is common like 1234, 0000, 2580, or 1111. Using a common passcode means a thief has a one in seven* chance of unlocking your phone.
Additionally, don’t use your personal information in your code. Using your birth date, relationship anniversary or another personal date greatly increases the thief’s chances at unlocking your phone.
#2 – Use the iPhone Touch ID capability.
Touch ID not only makes purchasing apps in the App Store much easier, it makes your phone safer. Hackers and thiefs cannot unlock your phone using your unique fingerprint.
You can also use Touch ID with a variety of apps. DropBox, Amazon, Evernote, and even several bank apps.
You’ll want to watch out and make sure you’ve limited what Siri can reveal when the phone is locked, however. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Allow Access When Locked. Choose which information can be communicated when the screen is locked.
#3 – Avoid attacks. Turn off notifications on the lock screen.
There is a known malicious iMessage bug that can crash your iPhone in the iOS 8.4 update.
All someone has to do is send you a certain set of text characters that will crash your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac. Turning off notifications while the screen is locked helps prevent this issue.
#4 – What to do with controversial location services.
Nowadays, everyone wants to know where you are and what you’re doing. This provides valuable data to advertising organizations so they can better target ads towards you.
Unfortunately, your exact location is personal information that almost no one wants to share – and for good reason.
There is a variety of apps that enable geo-tagging or track your location without making it obvious that they are recording this information. Even some you might not think would want that information.
With that said, double triple check which apps are recording your location information.
#5 – Update when they tell you to.
#6 – Don’t jailbreak your iPhone.
Jailbreaking is essentially hacking into your iPhone to control and edit the limits that Apple created. Jailbreaking often increases your iPhones usability. However, it exposes your device to more malware and viruses because applications can run without an Apple verification process.
Updating your phone means the settings the made it jailbroken will be removed and replaced with an updated iOS. Thus, it makes keeping your jailbroken iPhone inconvenient and lessens the likelihood that you’ll keep your phone updated. This further exposes your phone to hackers.
#7 – Stop your iPhone from storing your passwords and credit cards.
#8 – Enable the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) setting for your email accounts.
#9 – Enable “Find My iPhone.”
#10 – Disable “Frequent Locations.”
Android phones are much more customizable than iPhones, but that also gives you, the user, more responsibility when it comes to securing your phone.