A Guide to Mobile Phone Security

A Guide to Mobile Phone Security

Smartphones are full of sensitive information that now goes beyond your contact details. With all the passwords and financial information that our mobiles now hold, ensuring your phone is secure is essential.

If something goes wrong with your phone, it can seem like more than a nuisance; these days, nearly our whole lives are on our phones! Our guide outlines the best ways to keep your phone fully protected and increase its security.

How Can Your Phone Be Compromised?

Your phone can become vulnerable for a couple of reasons.

It could end up in unwanted hands, through either being lost or stolen. This could mean your data is exposed or lost completely.

Malware can also give hackers access to your phone, meaning they can take control of the handset, generate unwanted charges, intercept or interfere with messages and gain access to sensitive information, such as your bank details.

Maximising Phone Security

Don’t want your data and personal information falling into the wrong hands? Here’s what you can do to ensure the safety of your device.

Password Protect Your Phone

A phone with a ‘secure’ notification

Now that things like your personal finances can be managed through your phone, smartphone manufacturers understand just how important mobile security is.

Password protection on a phone is by no means a new concept. However, as security becomes a higher priority, phones are being released with increasingly sophisticated technology that ensures only you can get into your phone.

Some phones will have a fingerprint scanner that allows only you and selected trusted people to gain access to your device. Using your fingerprint in the place of a password or code can be helpful for people who are always forgetting them!

In a similar vein, many newer devices will use facial recognition, meaning they will only unlock when you, or other approved people, pick it up.

If you opt for the more traditional route of using a password, make sure you don’t reveal your code to anyone or enter it too obviously in public. And certainly don’t write any passwords on your phone or its case!

Only Install Legitimate Applications

One of the easiest ways to pick up malware on your phone is through corrupt apps. Rogue apps, downloaded from fake app stores, can give hackers access to your phone and personal information.

To avoid falling prey to these kinds of illegitimate apps, be sure to only source your apps from official stores. Even when you think you are downloading a real app, make sure you research it thoroughly and are confident it is as advertised; check reviews and see if other users have had good experiences.

Antivirus Software

A phone with a security graphic on the screen

Like with harmful apps, you can pick up malware through websites and spam links you may click. You can also give hackers access to your phone by connecting it to an infected or untrustworthy laptop.

To secure your phone, you should install up-to-date antivirus software from trusted app stores like the Apple App Store or Google Play. Make sure it is up and running before you do any web browsing.

Use Secure Networks

It is always a good idea to use a secure, trustworthy network when gaining access to the internet. This means being careful when connecting to public Wi-Fi.

Try to stay away from suspicious-looking networks even if they have a decent connection; you never know who could gain access to your data this way!

Using unsecured networks can leave you vulnerable to attacks known as ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks, whereby hackers intercept your details when you join the corrupt connection.

If you do connect to public Wi-Fi, avoid logging into any online banking accounts; instead, use your 4G connection if accessing your bank details is an absolute necessity.

‘Find My Phone’ Software

If your phone ever goes missing, it can be helpful to have an app linked to another device that will help you locate the missing device. Many phone brands will have inbuilt functions like this but third-party security apps can be another potential option.

Take the time to set up a track for your device in case it ever does get stolen or go missing; don’t just hope that this will never happen!

Wiping Software

You should also consider software that gives you the ability to remotely wipe all data from your phone if you ever lose possession of it. If you don’t think you will ever recover the missing phone, this can be the best option.

Clear After Use

If you decide to recycle or sell your phone when you are ready for a new model, it is also imperative that you wipe the data stored on it; be sure to return the phone to factory settings.

This way, you will remove any data you don’t want to get into the next owner’s or seller’s hands. For most phones, you can do this by going to ‘Settings’, ‘General’ and ‘Reset’. In some cases, you will be given the option to reset all settings or erase all current content.

Reputable retailers of second-hand phones will ensure that any models they receive and sell are fully reconditioned and cleared of information from the previous owner.

Backup Data

A woman holding a phone and working on a laptop

Backing up your data can help guarantee that if your phone does go missing, all your important information remains somewhere safe and you can erase the data on the lost phone.

Accept Manufacturer Updates

It can be tempting to ignore that seemingly annoying notification telling you to update your phone, but updating software can help keep on top of any security issues.

Updates from your device’s manufacturer usually offer new features and an improvement in performance, but they can also strengthen any weaknesses and fix security issues.

If your phone has sadly been lost or stolen, or you are just looking for an affordable new device, why not consider opting for a second-hand phone?

Here at Second-Hand Phones, we stock a wide range of quality reconditioned devices at great prices!