4 Solid Ways to Secure Your Smartphone Online and IRL

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Your smartphone is a treasure trove of personal information, which is one reason you love it. Unfortunately, hackers and real-life thieves love your smartphone as much as you do. Criminals in any environment would love to get their hands on the confidential information in your emails, text messages, social media passwords and posts, contacts, browsing history, financial apps, personal photos, saved passwords and much more.

You need to do everything in your power to make sure your mobile phone is secure 24/7, online and in the real world.

1. Lock It Down

Locking your device is a classic security approach for keeping your confidential data away from prying eyes when you step away from your device or lose it, but today you have a veritable cornucopia of ways to turn it into a proverbial steel trap. The iPhone 6s goes above and beyond in its security options, allowing you to choose to use a passcode or a fingerprint code, depending on your preferences.

If you choose to use a passcode, select something you can easily remember while making sure it is not something that anyone else could guess.

2. Choose the Apps You Download Wisely

Top Ten Reviews recommends that none of us take this line of defense for granted since we, using our discernment, are our best gatekeepers. Any app that you download has a certain degree of access to your smartphone’s data, which means that you may encounter apps that can maliciously acquire access to secure areas, which is a definite no-no in the realm of security. Before you press the “install” button, do your research on the app by reading user reviews and learning about the developers to find out about their other apps and how they work.

3. Protect Yourself While Using Public Wi-Fi Networks

No matter how great your data plan, you may find it instinctual to hop onto a public Wi-Fi network to save your precious unlimited data. You are not alone. Unfortunately, cybercriminals count on our attraction to free Wi-Fi access when checking our bank balance while sipping a cup of joe at the local coffee shop. Protect your phone by saving sensitive surfing, such as shopping, for when you return home. You can also use an encryption service.

Stay safe by doing banking, shopping and other confidential web surfing at home or over a cellular network using your financial institution’s mobile app. You can also use an encryption service to keep prying virtual eyes away.

4. Do Your System Upgrades When Prompted

Most of us pause when we see that we have a system upgrade awaiting our attention. We wonder just how long it will take and if we might miss something crucial while our phone is busy. However, you don’t want to fall prey to that old trap. Remember, the hackers are a few steps ahead of us, so they already know your dread and propensity for heel-dragging on this issue.

Apple and Android frequently release system upgrades that focus on their continuing effort to close loopholes that help prevent system exploits, so you definitely want in on all that type of proactive service. If you miss an upgrade — at least the wrong upgrade — you may be leaving your smartphone wide open for an avoidable attack.

Don’t Leave Your Smartphone Vulnerable

The security options listed here, among many others available, can help keep your smartphone safe in any situation. Just think of how frustrating you make a hacker’s job by battening down the hatches to your smartphone’s sensitive data. With that in mind, you may not mind doing the leg work so much.