Data encryption is available in its very raw forms in iPads and iPhones, while is totally missing in Androids! Thus, our iPads, iPhones, Androids are soft targets for cyber attacks.
This puts the responsibility on users to make the security of their smartphones a high priority.
This article elucidates the best practices you can adopt for securing your devices:
- Always turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not using them.
Apart from draining the device's battery, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth provide easy access for hackers and cyber criminals; resulting in a loss of certain features/applications on your phone, a loss of contact information or an increase in your phone bill.
- Enforce strong password policies on your device.
Avoid obvious passcodes like 1111, 0000, 1234, 5683 etc.
To prevent any unauthorized access to your device data, you may set your device to wipe all the data, after an 'x' number of failed attempts.
Also, the screen must be set to lock after the device remains idle for an 'x' number of minutes.
- Enable encryption on your back up files.
Many smartphones, especially those with Apple and Google, automatically take a backup and encrypt the device data.
However, if automatic backup and encryption are not available on your device, you must install a third party application and take backup of your phone data.
- Disable Localization when not using it.
This way your location details will not be tracked and software vendors cannot contact you.
Some applications like Google Earth require this option to be turned on; just remember to keep it turned off the rest of the time.
- Use a VPN for connecting to the Internet over a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
Doing so prevents any over-the-air sniffing and makes the connection even more secure.
- Ensure your devices are up to date with the relevant security patches and firmware updates to maintain the healthy state of the device.
Security and firmware updates make the device more stable and less susceptible to any data vulnerabilities.
- Use a password manager to store and manage your passwords in a secure way.
Many device owners store their account credentials for different applications (online banking, email accounts, forums, memberships, etc.
) in a text file.
This is very risky and makes the data vulnerable to cyber attacks.
- Data wipe must be turned on in case devices are lost or stolen.
- Download applications for your smartphone only from trusted sources or official sites.
If you have some more tips to add to the list, please leave a comment or send me an email.