How to Protect Your Mobile Devices from Hackers

How to Protect Your Mobile Devices from Hackers

People’s smartphones, tablets, and other devices get hacked all the time. Smartphones are especially vulnerable because they tend to contain all of our most sensitive information – banking and financial data, shopping profiles, and so on. Having all of that fall into the hands of hackers can ruin your credit, your finances, and your reputation.

You need to take steps to protect your mobile devices from hackers. Password-protect them, and be careful when you download. Try not to store sensitive information on your devices. Install operating system updates as they become available, and back up your phone data regularly. To add an extra layer of security to your accounts, use multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your phone and other devices.

Password-Protect Your Phone

If you’re not locking your phone with a password or with your fingerprint or other biometric data, then you’re just leaving it wide open to anyone who wants to pick it up and start leafing through your sensitive information. It’s the same with any tablet or other mobile device. Password protection won’t stop every would-be identity thief, but it will stop a lot of them. It might seem annoying, but it’s actually much more convenient to use a password than it is to get hacked and have your identity stolen.

Only Download Apps from an Official App Store

If you have an Apple phone, you don’t need this advice – but you should still be careful what apps you’re installing because a lot of App Store apps have been found to contain malware. It’s a good idea to stick to the Google Play store for Android devices, and avoid third-party apps. You should also pay attention to what permissions apps want. Consider whether the app really needs access to your contacts or your camera before you mindlessly grant permission.

Avoid Storing Sensitive Information on Your Device

You shouldn’t store passwords or other sensitive information on your mobile device, because it makes it too easy for anyone who gains access to the device to also get access to your banking data, your shopping accounts, and so on. Use apps instead of a mobile browser and key in your passwords when you want to access them. If you still want the convenience of saving your passwords, you can use a password manager and then you’ll just have to remember one master password to access it. You can get trials of software from manufacturers like Trend Micro to try out password managers and security software before making a commitment.

Update Your Operating System as Needed

Backup Your Data

You know what they say – if you don’t have three copies of your data, you don’t have your data. Most phones will automatically upload your photos and other data to the cloud. You can back up your Android device to a third location, like your Google account. You can back up your iPhone to a computer in addition to your iCloud account.

Use Multi-Factor Authentication

You should always use MFA when accessing accounts on your phone. It adds another level of security to your accounts, so instead of just entering a password, you’ll have to verify your identity a second time, for example by entering a code sent to your phone number by text. You can add an authenticator app for a third level of security, especially for banking and shopping apps. These apps ask you to verify your identity for a third time, often by providing biometric data.

Install a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) creates an encrypted tunnel for your data to travel through when you’re online. You should always use a VPN when you’re connecting to a public network, especially if you’re doing any banking or shopping or anything else that involves sending sensitive information over the internet. It also protects your IP address, so that hackers can’t use it as a backdoor to enter your device.

Are your mobile devices really safe from hackers? Probably not, and that needs to change. By taking steps to secure your mobile devices, you can avoid becoming a victim of cyber crime.

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