In the current digital age, smartphones have become an essential part of our lives. Getting hacked or losing a device can cause major disruption to daily rhythms and leaves important information at risk. Protecting against cybersecurity attacks and physical break-ins is a worthy endeavor for anyone who is connected to the world through his or her smartphone.
Protection Against Physical Break-ins
Before investing in cybersecurity measures, there are several low-effort ways to protect against physical smartphone break-ins. Setting complex passwords and being cautious about when to enable smart unlocking capabilities are simple, yet effective solutions. Although it may seem convenient to set a phone to automatically unlock under certain situations, this unnecessarily exposes users to break-in risk.
Smartphone owners also need to carefully determine how they want notifications to appear on lock screens as certain information may entice potential thieves. This also means making sure that AI assistants, like Siri, aren’t accessible until the smartphone is unlocked by the owner.
For those with smartwatches, it’s possible to create alerts that indicate when smartphones aren’t where they should be. In many cases, this feature helps owners locate devices that have been left behind somewhere, but it’s also worth setting up for potential scenarios involving theft.
Protection Against Cyber Attacks
One of the easier ways to protect smartphones against cyber attacks is by installing software updates as they become available. Although some people caution against installing new updates immediately, it is one of the most effective ways to address vulnerabilities that hackers may have learned to exploit over time. Additionally, smartphone users should only install apps that have been vetted by legitimate sources and avoid those that do not appear trustworthy.
Those who use their devices to access online services need to remember to log out when done. This prevents unauthorized users from stealing valuable information should they come into possession of an unlocked phone. With some smartphones, it’s possible to set passwords for specific apps. This adds an additional layer of security against individuals who are trying to access as much private information as possible through any available sources.
Another hack-proofing approach is to build logins around alter egos with fake personal information that can’t be tied to any real identity. This makes it extremely difficult for hackers to wreak havoc across an individual’s entire digital footprint. Finally, smartphone users should approach public wifi with caution as those networks are accessible by anyone, including those with malicious intent.
The Importance of Reviewing & Monitoring Activity
One of the best ways to identify hacking attempts early is to develop a baseline understanding of what installed apps are able to do with user information. By reviewing security settings on a regular basis, users learn what the apps do and don’t do with their personal information.
Smartphone owners should also proactively set up ways to track their devices if and when they are lost. This helps in identifying potential theft early and gives owners a much higher chance of reuniting with their devices before they go off the grid.
Additionally, there are a number of online services that will help monitor user activity across a variety of digital platforms. Some will highlight sensitive information that should be archived or secured more effectively. These services can recognize unusual activity and push smartphone owners to take action, if necessary.
Peace of Mind Through Hack-proofing
There are many ways to hack-proof smartphones, some more involved than others. Even with device manufacturers implementing sophisticated security measures, users can do a lot today to proactively deter physical and cyber attacks and save themselves from major future disruption.