Hackers have always been adept at getting the information that they want. Now that nearly everything we use is online and especially on our mobile phones, it is more important than ever t keep our information safe and secure. Those passwords that include your children’s names and birthdates just aren’t going to cut it anymore. Now, you have to secure your person mobile world just like professionals secure their workplaces.
Change your passwords
One of the most common tips for securing your phone and your data is to stop using your favorite passwords. These have become too easy to hack. Instead, start using passwords that have random letters, numbers, and symbols with a few capital letters, too. Every single password-protected account needs to have a completely different password, too.
Because passwords have become elaborate and because we need so many of them, password management apps have become popular. For a small fee, the password app will keep track of them for you and will change them when necessary. Some people will keep a password diary to keep track of them, too. Google can also help you keep track of your passwords, but that doesn’t help you if someone gets their hands on your phone.
Use two-factor authentication
If you need to keep bad guys out of your phone and away from your important accounts, two-factor authentication is the way to go. This has become the go-to protective method for businesses and individuals.
Here’s how it works: you log in, then you clarify that you logged in through a text message or email. You cannot access your account until you okay the login. This is beneficial if someone gets their hands on your phone because they will not be able to access any account that uses this method.
Add a firewall to your devices
Adding a firewall is not tough to do and there are several ways that you can add extra security to your home devices and your phone. The first is to create a complicated password for your router - especially if it uses the WPA2 protocol. While you are working on your router, remove any way that a stranger could get into your network.
Some people will also create two networks on their router so they can keep their financial information separate from their gaming or other non-financial activities.
After all of this security work, the final step is to actually add the firewall to your router. When you do this, be sure that you restrict the ports so hackers cannot get into them and start looking around at your information. For about $300, you can also add a unified threat management device, which will watch for intrusions at the router. It will also add antivirus protection.
Lock your phone
Another tried-and-true way to keep the bad guys out is to use your pin number to lock your phone. Of course, the latest techniques for locking your phone are retina scans or fingerprints, but these are not always reliable. The pin number will always work and it is certainly difficult to hack, especially if you use a six-digit pin instead of the four-digit pin.
Add anti-virus software
Most phones and computers come with some semblance of anti-virus protection, but it’s not much, especially if hackers are interested in you. Instead of relying on the basic protection that doesn’t protect much, spend a little bit each month and invest in reliable, monitored anti-virus protection. It is money well spent.
Only use official apps
Sure, that wacky app that your friend showed you might look like fun, but if it isn’t officially offered on iTunes, Google Play, or the Galaxy Store, then you shouldn’t even consider it. Official apps have been vetted by the experts at these stores. When you add an app to your phone and it is not from the official stores, you run the risk of the app taking information and wreaking havoc on your phone and in your life.
Use a VPN, especially when you are using public Wi-F
When you are using public Wi-Fi, your information is wide open for hackers to steal. If you must use public Wi-Fi at places like airports, hotels, and coffee shops, get yourself on a VPN so you can stay private. VPNs are still free and they are the easiest way to protect yourself. All you have to do is download your VPN and connect to the server. You can then begin surfing the web anonymously and far from the eyes of the hackers.
Shop only on HTTPS websites
Hackers might be looking for information, but what they really want is your money. One of the easiest ways to get your credit card information and your personal information is through an unsecured online store.
It is so incredibly easy to see if a website is secure by looking at the HTTP address. If the address includes HTTPS, then the website is safe and uses the best security to keep bad guys away from your credit card information.
If the S is not there, then your information is up for grabs. Before you shop, make it a habit to look at the URL to see if you can shop safely.
Backup your information
Because accidents will happen, it is wise to have a place to back up your information. There are too many stories of phones dying and their owners not having backed up information on them.
It could mean that your photos and other important information are lost forever. You might have to pay for a backup service, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind that it gives.
Enable your privacy settings
Get into your phone’s settings and set the privacy to the most private as possible. Set everything you can, including two-factor authentication, pin numbers, and fingerprints - if that is available to you. Set your phone to ask about third-party apps that could potentially damage your phone. And, set your phone to scan your apps for security breaches at least once per day.