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How to Secure your SmartPhone in 7 Easy Steps!

If you want to secure your smartphone you’re going to have to do a bit more than ask your little sister to not play with it. The digital age has brought with it all kinds of problems, one of the most immediate is how lackadaisical most people are with their mobile security, with smartphones being the number one culprit.

Read on if you want to secure your smartphone, from the iPhone, to Nokia, Sony, Nexus, and Samsung.

How to secure your smartphone in 7 easy steps

1. Use the lock code screen

This is a freebie, and you have to use it. Your phone is full of personal information like:

  • Emails
  • Texts
  • Pictures (yes, those types)
  • Personal notes

If you plan on taking your smartphone out of your home, or anywhere near your parents, siblings, partners, children, or other people, you need to use the lock screen. The most common is a four digit pin code, but some others will let you use letters, characters, patterns you draw, and thumbprint recognition.

If you don’t follow this first piece of advice, please don’t bother with the rest as you’re not at all serious about trying to secure your smartphone. If anyone can get on it you will never be secure.

2. Turn on the ‘Do Not Track’ feature on your mobile browser

This is one of those ‘well, it would be nice if they did what you asked’ scenarios. You can set up your browser in Google Chrome, and iOS to keep websites from tracking you and displaying ads to you. This keeps them from gathering data about you, and we all know that data is power.

The problem is that some websites seem to think it’s optional to listen to what you want. So at the end of the day this is a better than nothing situation. You’ll find a back up solution in step 5!

3. Block your phone number when calling a business

You likely haven’t thought about this, but businesses can collect your phone number, and any information attached to it (see the point above), and sell it to advertisers. If turning the blocking on and off is a problem, Google Voice is available to Android users to call businesses and block your number.

4. Do not respond to spam texts, or answer spam calls

Step one for most telemarketers these days is to call up a number just to see if a person will answer it. When you answer a number that looks weird for your area you’re practically asking telemarketers to call you more often, send you messages, and try to contact you via other apps.

This can be a major problem for those who don’t have unlimited plans, or pay as you go. For this without unlimited plans, you may have to pay for texts you never wanted in the first place. For pay as you go plans, you may wind up having your airtime stolen! This happened to my girlfriend after she responded to a spam text as it put a virus on her iPhone which stole the data she paid for.

On Android, try Current Caller ID. On iOS, try using Truecaller to help you figure out which calls that you’re not expecting are legit.

5. Use a VPN whenever you connect to public WiFi

Tsecure your smartphone - like a lock!he most important time to secure your smartphone is when it is at its most vulnerable, and that is when it is connected to public WiFi. There are Fake WAP attacks to look out for, random snoopers, and your privacy is likely at around zero.

A VPN provider can encrypt your connection as you surf, use Skype, and use any app that connects through WiFi like Whatsapp. Most will have a client built for smartphones, here are 5 with great iPhone clients. They will all prevent people from eavesdropping on you, and gives you peace of mind whenever you connect to public WiFi as it will secure your smartphone.

6. Use a recovery app to locate a lost smartphone

There are recovery apps for both Android and iOS that will help you when you set your smartphone down in another room and forget it, or when you leave it at the office. In the first instance it will set off a siren so you can find it in your home. In the second it will use GPS to show you where in the world your smartphone is.

When you discover that your phone is somewhere it shouldn’t be, due to theft, you can lock it down, or even remote wipe it. There are some great security apps with recovery features listed in this article.

7. Add your owner contact information to your smartphone

You can secure your smartphone in the hands of a good person if you add your contact information to it. Most people will use a sticker with their first name and a number to contact. A few will add their email. Either way, you can get your smartphone back when a good person finds it, which is most of the time..

Whatever you do, please, do not put the phone number for the smartphone you’re trying to protect on the sticker. That would be a #fail.

 

Feature image via Sashkin / Shutterstock

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