If someone hacks your smart phone, you will probably feel like they are stealing from your home, and even worse. It is an invasion of your privacy, a violation of your personal space, and it will probably take time to find out if something is missing. Your cell phone not only saves many important things, but also tells hackers what are the most valuable. Therefore, it is important to take measures and know how to protect the smartphone from hackers. Considering their size, and that they are constantly sending and receiving signals, always be an attractive target for cybercriminals. To keep your phone and its content away from prying eyes, you must develop a strategy to protect your information. Here are some tips on how to protect your smartphone from hackers and intruders.
Update your operating system and applications
Companies constantly update their software, but they don't do it just for aesthetic reasons. Many updates include bug fixes and security enhancements, which help protect the smartphone from hackers and data theft, by eliminating vulnerabilities. If an update is announced for the operating system of your smart phone or any of its applications, install it as soon as possible.
Avoid public WiFi
At this point, everyone should know the dangers of using an open WiFi network. A public network in shopping centers, cafés, airports or any other public place is an ideal space for pirates. Try using only your cell phone connection and disable the WiFi connection when you are in a public place. If that is not possible, consider a VPN application, a utility that channels network communications through an encrypted connection. But be careful: not all VPNs have the same quality. We also suggest you disable Bluetooth, unless you use a smart watch that requires it.
Lock your smartphone
Always enter a four or six digit access code to access your device. They may not be very convenient, but thank you if you lose it in a public place. E-mail, contacts, photos and bank information can be easily exposed. It even considers a longer password, with numbers and letters. If this security mechanism bothers you, fingerprint scanning and face identification are easier and faster alternatives. Make sure that applications with personal information are also blocked with passwords.
Keep your mobile phone number private
As before, you did not give your landline number to the first person who asked for it, do not automatically give your mobile phone number to any application that asks for it. The more places your number has, the more vulnerable you will be to SMS intrusions and scams, and even to the invasion of your 2FA protected accounts. Consider adding a second line to your mobile phone. Google Voice is a great way to protect your number from online criminals, as well as applications such as Sideline, Line2 and Hushed, which make it easy to add a second line to your mobile phone.
Do not share your life in excess in social networks
It's okay to use your real name on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but avoid sharing tons of revealing information about yourself. Avoid listing cities of origin, specific addresses, specific work locations, phone numbers, last names and other details that hackers can use to track you. These days, Facebook allows you to hide most of the information about you with its settings and privacy tools, including most of your photos, friend lists and more. Take care and speed up your feed to get rid of the old and outdated information that could reveal more things about you than you want. Better yet: if you can, use Facebook only on your home computer, instead of accessing your phone.
Do not store personal information, documents or files on your phone, and limit the amount of photos geographically labeled on your Camera Roll. Get used to keeping your phone relatively prstine, downloading images and documents on your computer, and deleting confidential emails from financial accounts, employers and also related to your health.
Use two-factor authentication
This is another security measure that most do not support. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is annoying because it involves an additional step, and it's really a pain if you forget to have your phone close by. But like passwords, it provides an additional layer to protect the smartphone from hackers.
Use secure passwords
Everyone hates passwords. But when it comes to assigning them, don't take half measures. Use only secure passwords that hackers do not easily decipher. They must contain 16 to 20 characters, with a combination of letters and numbers, upper and lower case letters and symbols. The brutes of brute force passwords will be able to dismantle many, but to facilitate their task using your birthday, your pet's name or the same password for everything, is a psima idea.
There are many online password generators, so you don't necessarily have to create them on your own. Change your passwords every six months and a year, or when you find out about a data breach in your applications. And don't answer the security questions honestly and change your answers. This makes it harder for hackers to discover how to enter your phone, based on your public information available online.
Beware of spam and phishing emails
One of the easiest ways for hackers to invade your phone and access your information is through the email inbox. Phishing scams are designed to trick you into transferring access to your accounts. Avoid clicking on links in promotional emails, opening suspicious attachments or running application updates requested by email. Do not access the financial accounts through random emails, but go to the website of the financial institution and log in with your username and password.
Use integrated protections for devices
They are not called "smart phones" for nothing. If your phone is lost or stolen, you can control the damage using the device tracking services, such as Find My iPhone and Android Find My Device, which place your smartphone on a map and, in some cases, can automatically erase it. These services can also make your phone ring to locate it, if for example you can't find it inside your home. You can also have it delete all information after a certain number of password attempts.
Use an antivirus application
Hackers prefer malware to steal passwords and account information. But you can fight it with an antivirus application for smart phones, some of which are derivations of popular desktop applications, such as Avast, McAfee and Panda. Variations for smartphones provide enhanced security by ensuring that the applications, PDF files, images and other files you download are not infected with malware.
Manage permissions for applications
Check the applications on your phone to determine if they have more privileges than they need. You can grant or deny permissions, such as access to the camera, microphone, contacts or location. Keep track of these and revoke those that are not necessary.
On an iPhone, go to Settings> Privacy, where you see a list of all the applications and permissions you have granted.
On an Android phone, depend on each device. In a Google Pixel, be in Settings> Applications and notifications> Advanced> Permission Manager, while in a Samsung Galaxy you will find it in Settings> Applications> Application permissions, through the three vertical points in the upper right.
You should consider preparing for the worst, periodically making backup copies of your phone to protect important documents and images in case of loss or theft. You can check our guides on how to make a backup on Android or on your iPhone. This way, you can access those photos or files even if your device is lost or stolen.
Know the origin of your applications
Do not download any old application on your phone. Although in the case of iPhone it is limited to the Apple App Store, which reviews all applications sold on the platform, it is easy to download applications on Android, so not all of them come from the Google Play Store. The best way to avoid malware on Android is to stick to the selection available in the Google Play Store, which is examined by Google. Never download applications through text messages, as it is a method that hackers use to inject malware into your phone.
Get away from public chargers
Charge your phone only on trusted USB ports, such as your computer or your car. Hackers can hack public USB charging ports, such as those found in a coffee maker or airport, to steal personal information. If you are traveling, take your adapter and your USB cable. Hackers cannot access their phone's data through your USB adapter.
Add to the jailbreak
Although the jailbreaking it allows iPhone owners to access applications and software that are not available in the Apple App Store, it also exposes your phone to viruses and malware. A phone with jailbreak It will not be guaranteed and it is likely that Apple staff will not help you if you have a fault.
If you take positive steps to protect the smartphone from hackers and intruders, you should feel confident that you have done everything possible to protect your sensitive information. This makes it less likely to steal your identity, interfere in your personal life, divert your money, control your phone and, in general, make your life miserable.
* Updated on January 8, 2020 by Daniel Matus.