These days smartphones now act like part of our bodies, we using them for shopping, socializing, browsing, banking and more and we stay logged in to our accounts for ease of use, which means anyone who has access to our handset essentially has access to our whole lives.
The worst case scenario is that a lost or stolen phone will lead to theft, of either money or identity and don’t think it can’t happen to you. There are steps you can take to ensure that no one gets access to anything they shouldn’t and you can get back to using your phone.
Here are some of the ways you can avoid that from happening.
Use strong lock screen security
A pattern might seem convenient, but it’s not as secure as a PIN or a fingerprint (and strange as it may seem, using your face to unlock your phone is even easier to break through).If you really want strong security consider using a password.
Lock your apps
Keeping your phone locked is one thing, but what if you want to add an extra layer of security to certain apps, like your email or banking app? Depending on your handset.On Android there are various apps, such as App Lock, Vault which let you add a separate PIN, password or fingerprint lock to apps of your choice. So even if someone gets into your phone, they won’t be able to get at sensitive data.
Smartphones are far less at risk from viruses and other malware than PCs, but there is still some danger. An antivirus app can help keep you protected from malicious software by scanning apps, websites and files, thereby keeping your device and the accounts it’s logged into secure. Or it can on Android anyway. There isn’t any antivirus software available for iOS devices, although as Apple uses a more closed system iPhones are slightly less at risk to begin with.
Don’t jailbreak or use unofficial app stores
There are two ways your smartphone can become compromised: either someone gains physical access to it, or accesses it remotely. Remote access is typically gained via malware, and your device is more at risk from this if you don’t stick to the official app stores and services.There are lots of tempting reasons to root or jailbreak a handset, or to venture off to third-party app stores, but doing so comes at a cost, as you’re opening your phone up to potential intrusions that would otherwise be blocked, and to apps that could contain viruses.
Make sure you can remotely track your phone
If your phone is lost or stolen you still have options, as both Android and iOS enable you to track your handset.On Android just load the Android Device Manager website, or download the app of the same name, then log into your Google account and you can track, ring, lock or even erase any of your devices remotely. It’s worth checking this service out ahead of time to make sure it’s working on your phone.
Download extra security software
Android Device Manager and Find My iPhone are useful services, but there are more fully-featured apps available.Apps such as Prey Anti Theft, which is available on both Android and iOS, enable you to remotely take pictures using both the front and back camera, or sound an alarm which will go off even if the phone is set to silent.
An app like this won’t stop your device being stolen, but it will increase your chances of getting it back if it is.