The extensive use of mobile phones has changed the way individuals operate in their personal as well as professional lives. But the many benefits of using smartphones have come with a price and a wide range of concerns. Security is one of the most sensitive issues that individuals and corporations have to deal with concerning the use of smartphones.
According to the 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study by Ponemon and sponsored by IBM, the majority of security breaches in organizations happen as a result of employees’ use of mobile phones in the course of their work. The study found out that the global average cost of a corporate data breach has gone up 6.4 percent compared to 2017’s figure. One corporate data breach is now estimated to cost $3.86 million.
How can you keep your phone and data safe? Here are 5 highly effective smartphone security measures:
1. Update the operating system and apps regularly
A recent research study revealed that more than 75 percent of Android users had an Android version that was two or more years old. Only 55 percent of iOS devices had the latest version of the OS a month after the purchase date.
All smartphone OSs have vulnerabilities that are already identified. There’s continuous effort by OS companies and app developers to patch new security loopholes as soon as they identify them. That is why the companies regularly release OS and app updates. Failing to make the appropriate updates leaves your smartphone, or any other smart device exposed to various breeds and forms of vulnerabilities.
2. Limit unauthorized physical access to your smartphone
Do you use a PIN, password, or pattern lock on your device? While this security measure may seem basic, a whopping 43 percent of smartphone owners don’t use either of the three phone access control methods. Failure to do so means there’s literally nothing to stop a third party from accessing your information and sharing or using it as he wishes. Criminals can also change settings on your phone after physically accessing it so that they can manipulate it remotely later.
You should never stay without access controls on your smartphone. Setting one is easy, quick and in all senses effortless. For stronger security, you can use a fingerprint screen lock or face ID in addition to a password or pattern.
3. Prudent use of social media
“Sorry guys. My social media account was hacked!” We occasionally come across this apology statement. Your security on social media is a critical aspect of not only your online security but also overall security.
Did you know that social media apps are more likely to expose your login credentials than the average app? Woe to you if you use one password for your online accounts such as Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on. Just one hack on your social media account can expose you to devastating security breaches all over your accounts.
What can you do to increase your security on social media? First, don’t share sensitive personal information on social media sites. Secondly, use a set of credentials for your social media accounts that is different from your other accounts such as Gmail, Outlook, etc. Finally, remember to change your password once every few months. Keeping your social media apps updated comes without saying, and is explained above under “Update the operating system regularly”.
4. Download a reliable security software
You’ve got to have some protection, in form of malware and virus scanner, on your smartphone. A firewall and antivirus helps to keep your smartphone, and thus your data from falling into the wrong hands. There are several reliable security software with free packages, but you can also find fairly affordable options.
Do anything that will enhance your smartphone protection. One security breach incident can put so much of your valuable possessions in harm’s way. If you use your phone for sensitive activities such as making eCommerce transactions, accessing your bank accounts, or online trading, you must have strong protection because there are definitely many criminals out there who’d spend days and nights trying to break into your device.
5. Use VPN when on public WiFi
Public WiFi is dangerous! Or maybe it’s not. How you use it determines whether or not it is dangerous. You cannot completely avoid public Wi-Fi networks. Sometimes you find yourself needing to access the internet, you don’t have internet but there is free Wi-Fi. At that moment you can easily forget about the security concerns of using public Wi-Fi.
One of the best ways to stay safe on public networks is using a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN masks your online location and encrypts your data. Anyone trying to look for you will not find you, and no one can see the data being sent between your phone and the server. Check out online VPN reviews to understand what you need to look for when selecting the best VPN.
Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. They are with us day and night, minute after minute. In the wake of rising cyber insecurity, it’s inherent that we keep our smartphones and the enormous sizes of data they hold secure at all times. The above security measures will cover the bases for your smartphone security so that you can carry on with life without fear or worry.