We live in an age where our whole lives are centered on our mobile devices. Our bank accounts, email addresses, social media accounts, are contained in our devices. Most people tend to make the mistake of thinking that they cannot be hacked. Anybody can be hacked. If a hacker gets access to your phone, they could wreak havoc. If you have android operating system devices, there are ways you can protect them from getting compromised:
Use a Strong Password
A strong password should be the first step you take towards securing your android device. Every device comes with a provision for a password lock. The latest devices now allow you to use your fingerprint for an added security layer.
Ensure your password is not apparent, such as your birthday, pet’s name, or your child’s birth date or year. Some phones have face unlock, but unfortunately, someone with a photo of you can gain access. Generally, a strong password has at least 4 to 8 characters. It should contain lower case, upper case, numbers, and special characters.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
The two-factor authentication is a security process in which you have to provide two authentication factors before verification. After keying in your password, the device asks for a second passcode. This second passcode is sent to a designated device through data service or a text message. You can only gain access after entering the two codes.
This process ensures nobody can access your account because the passcode changes every time after use. The two-factor authentication makes it impossible to hack by guessing or hacking. Nobody, except the person with access to the designated passcode device, can access the passcode.
Use Trusted Apps
Google has dedicated a whole department to inspect apps that end up in the play store. This department is useful in eliminating harmful apps before they reach you. There are hundreds of sources for Android apps, but they are unscanned for malware. To avoid downloading malware into your device, you must disable the allowance of apps from unknown sources.
Go to settings, security on your android device, and click on the option of install apps from unknown sources. Make sure to uncheck it and let it stay off.
Regularly Update Apps and Phone
Regular app update might seem very basic and obvious to everyone, but most people do not do it. Google is always rolling out regular security updates to phone brands, who pass the updates to their users. Keep a check for any system update, and as soon as they are available, install them to improve your device security.
App developers keep adding security updates and features to the apps available on the Google play store. Before app installation, they give you a rundown on the new update’s features. Keep an eye on the play store and ensure your apps are the latest version.
Use VPN (A virtual Private Network)
We all love free Wi-Fi, either in coffee shops or airports. We inadvertently find ourselves logging on. Free Wi-Fi is very risky, a hacker could be listening in, and you could quickly be hacked. Consider a Virtual private network or VPN. It provides a secure tunnel between your android device and the internet. It lets you hide your IP address, and you can browse anonymously.
With a VPN, you can be sure all your data is secure as it encrypts all your communication. In case you need to bypass any restrictions, the VPN will do precisely that.
Most people on the lower average have at least five passwords. You can choose to either have one password across all applications or write down the passwords. Writing the passwords is only wise if you keep the paper safe from prying eyes.
You can also memorize all the passwords, which is confusing, downright tedious, and not very practical. The best option out of all these is getting yourself a program to manage your passwords. Google has a built-in password manager, but you are better off getting a different one to be on the safe side.
The password manager stores all your passwords in an encrypted format, preventing tampering. It provides secure access to your passwords and unlocks via a master password.
Use Anti-Virus Software
Google Play Protect protects your phone pretty well. Some people argue that anti-virus software on an android phone is useless, but there are some instances that you require anti-virus:
- You are afraid of losing your device, and you are scared of someone gaining access to your data. An Android anti-virus software can remotely locate your device and wipe all data.
- If you use your phone for work-related tasks, and it has a lot of sensitive data, you will need some added security from an anti-virus.
- If you download apps, anti-virus is essential. In 2017, Google found 700,000 apps that were malicious in its play store. Adding an anti-virus will protect you from such malware.
Turn Off Idle Connections
If any connections such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth are idle, ensure you always turn them off. A hacker can gain access to your phone can use these network connections. If your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are active, hackers can correctly tell which networks you have been connected to. They can spoof the systems; trick your device into connecting with their Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices. Once the hackers connect to your phone, they can spy on you, steal your data, or inject your device with malware.
Beware of Phishing
Phishing is a form of attack that uses links in emails or messages. Ensure you do not click on any links, or open any strange emails. If you do, you open an avenue for hackers to inject malware into your phone. A phishing attack aims to trick you into giving the attacker access to your accounts. Never access bank accounts via email links. Go to the bank’s website directly and login properly.
Erase All Data when Selling Your Mobile Device
Some people buy mobile phones from other people, looking for data left on phones. If they find enough data, they could use that information to try and find out passwords and usernames. This information might be enough to hack into your social media or bank accounts.
Ensure you do a hard reset every time you sell your phone to avoid such incidences.
Hackers do not discriminate. They are interested in data, whomever it might belong to. Do not underestimate hackers, they are in the business of looking for data. Guard your data jealously and ensure you follow these tips religiously. Keep yourself and your device updated. Hackers never sleep; neither should you.