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The Real Life ‘Hack’: 6 Ways to Keep Your Phone Safe From Cybercriminals

What can we all do to protect our smartphones from hacks to keep our personal or work lives safe?

With so many useful apps on our phone and the very simple fact that our phone is never far from our side, we should really be doing what we can to look after it, right? In fact, most of us seldom look after our phones properly, and when it comes to something like cyber attacks, we can all benefit from learning how to protect our phones from being hacked. Our phones are central to our daily lives, so if your smartphone got hacked you would feel like you’ve lost an arm.

What can we all do to protect our smartphones from hacks to keep our personal or work lives safe?

Use a VPN

One of the common tactics hackers use is piggybacking onto your phone via public Wi-Fi. There are things you can do, such as changing your IP address. If you’ve got an iPhone you can learn how to change iPhone IP address with certain approaches, but you can also use a VPN connection. VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, is a simple way to ensure that your internet traffic is encrypted which will increase your online privacy. When we use public Wi-Fi networks we don’t know what we are getting ourselves into, and a VPN is an amazing tool that we should all consider if we are forever traveling around and connecting to other Wi-Fi networks.

Be Careful with the Apps You Download

The Apple App Store and Google Play have strict measures in place to ensure that the apps that make their online stores are not malicious in intent. You can encounter malicious apps outside of the app stores and these can run in the background which can compromise so much of your personal data that you keep on your phone such as passwords and even bank details. When you are in the app stores, you should do your own personal vetting and look closely at the reviews and descriptions before downloading. There are counterfeit or malicious apps that can find their way onto these online stores so you need to make sure that you are diligent by reading what others are saying, looking at the download statistics, and checking for the little things, like poor grammar.

Know How to Wipe or Lock Your Phone Remotely

Most of us rely on our phones for every single thing in our lives and if your phone gets stolen do you know how to secure it? You might think that wiping your phone is a drastic move, but learning how to do it remotely is a really useful tool. But in order to ensure that you get all of your precious data back, you should back up your phone regularly ensuring it is secured in a cloud so you can restore it to the last time you backed it up. If you know how to lock your phone or wipe the data remotely, hackers won’t be able to find any sensitive information.

Add Extra Protection in Simple Ways

Don’t forget the basics, including setting up a PIN number, a pattern, fingerprints, or facial ID. It will completely depend on your device, but facial ID is arguably one of the best approaches. Additionally, you can use stronger passwords. Learning how to create stronger passwords is a fine art because most people tend to forget the most complex ones. Basic two-factor authentication can also increase your line of defense.

Be Strict with Apps 

We all download apps and can let them fester in the background. Part of being diligent with our phone is about looking at the apps we have on our phone and seeing which ones are in constant use and which ones don’t serve a purpose anymore. Some apps can have an account associated with them which means that they can store data from your phone. So don’t just delete the apps, make sure you delete the accounts. Additionally, make sure that you update any apps you are using. It’s easy to leave app updates for weeks or sometimes months especially if you use it all of the time. But you need to update them regularly and potentially turn on or to updates if you can because it doesn’t just introduce new features but will directly deal with security issues.

Educate Yourself

We can easily place the blame on the app provider if we are subject to a hack, but it’s a good idea to stay informed about the latest cybersecurity threats and the best practices so you can avoid these common pitfalls.

We realize so much on our phones that we should prioritize how best to protect ourselves from cyberattacks. These steps can significantly reduce those risks.

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