Simple Steps to Securing Your Smartphone

 While data usage among smartphone users has risen dramatically over the past few years, many users still remain ambivalent about the information security in such devices. While some might be aware of the importance of information security, most users still adopt a nonchalant or negligent attitude towards this issue. According to a recent survey of U.S. consumer attitudes about smartphones, less than half of the respondents consider security features to be important when deciding which smartphone to buy. This probably reflects the underlying sentiment among most smartphone users that security precautions are not a vital necessity.

Not surprisingly, with such common public sentiments, criminals are finding smartphones a very attractive and easy target to hack into and retrieve personal and confidential information. While smartphones have made our lives a lot easier, their convenience also makes us more vulnerable to hackers. Moreover, given that most people now use their smartphones for both personal and work purpose, not only do these smartphones contain a treasure trove of personal and company information, they also provide an easy access point into company networks. With the growing popularity of smartphones, we can expect an increase in smartphone attacks, which will likely focus on stealing the information on a particular phone or using them to enter a network.

What are some signs that your smartphone might have been hacked?

 

  • Despite not using it, your smartphone frequently overheats.
  • You hear clicks or echoes during your phone conversation.
  • Your smartphone screen pops out of sleep mode even when you are not using it.
  • Your smartphone battery drains unusually quickly.

And what are some ways to protect your smartphone? Here are some tips recommended by experts.

  • Don’t use common or easily decipherable passwords (e.g. your name, birthday, mother’s maiden name, etc.)
  • Install anti-virus software. There are many options today to choose from. Pick one that suits your needs best.
  • Don’t open email, text messages or clips from strangers. They might contain malicious viruses, spyware and malware, which could be secretly installed in your smartphone.
  • Run your email on a secure mail server or utilize a secure hosted email service to prevent any viruses, spam and phishing emails. Not only do you get the latest security features, the system’s integrated data backup also allows you to retrieve your information easily in case of emergencies.
  • Download mobile apps only from reputable and certified sites.
  • Make sure that you completely remove all the personal information before disposing the smartphone.

With these simple measures in place, you can have better peace of mind in knowing that both your personal and work-related information are securely kept in your smartphone as they should be.

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