Nowadays most of us walk around with a pocket computer. While these devices are extremely handy they also render us vulnerable to malware attacks and data breaches. Here are some safety tips you should follow when you’re on your smartphone:
1. Read the review – viruses load themselves onto your computer via executable files. On your cellphone, apps are the equivalent of exe. files, and can only be downloaded via App Stores. These stores vet the applications available to your smartphone. You should download only the ones with lots of user reviews.
2. Trust the App Store/Play Store – these online markets have your safety in mind when they approve an app. However Android smartphones have the option of “sideloading” applications, which means you can download applications from other places than just the Google store. If you see something in your downloads folder that you don’t remember it’s best to delete it without opening.
3. Change application privacy settings – application licenses might be collecting more than you’re aware of. You can change application privacy defaults in the “Settings” of your smartphone. Just go to “Settings” and click on the applications you’d like to restrict. It’s also best to delete applications you don’t use anymore. These applications still have access to data on your phone and clearing them out will give you the benefit of more storage!
4. Make sure you’re surfing a secure network – big cities often have free WiFi networks to access when you’re out and about. The problem is these networks aren’t encrypted, so your searches are breachable by anyone else on the network. It’s best to not access sensitive information (like your banking services or email) on public WiFi. If you must use a public network to access personal information choose a VPN, a virtual private network, because this will encrypt your searches. Though you may have to pay for the service it’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. Don’t lose your phone – smartphone users should be primarily concerned with not losing their phones! With all of the personal information on there it is paramount to not let strangers onto your device. “Find My iPhone” or “Find My Device” for Android are specific geolocation applications that allow you to pinpoint your smartphone in a city and give you the option to delete your data remotely.
McAfee offers a mobile security package that details what data your applications are collecting, geolocates your smartphone and gives you the option to wipe it remotely, flags fishy sites, and protects your smartphone from malware