Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Umer Malik
Smartphone users are everywhere. As of 2021, the number of people owning or using a smartphone is over 6 billion – just over 80% of the global population.
We have grown used to storing many of our lives on our phones. The pictures of our friends and families are on our phones. We keep important notes on our phones; many people even store most of their personally identifiable information – such as bank details, social security numbers, national insurance numbers, and much more.
Smartphones are also widely used in a work context. These days, if you have a smartphone, you could potentially run an entire business with it – the number of apps and services available for use on a smartphone is staggering. This means cyber attacks pose an immense risk to certain users. Any smartphone user could become a victim of a cyber-attack, so it is important to follow certain practices to protect yourself. Below are our top cyber security tips to follow for smartphone safety.
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Learn about scams
The best way to avoid a scam is to know what they are – that way, you can close any loopholes that could leave you vulnerable to an attack.
There are many different kinds of attacks that your phone can be vulnerable to, so knowing where and when you are most vulnerable helps you take measures. Even IT Support for Small Business Solutions needs to take security seriously. For instance, a Man-in-the-Middle attack relies on intercepting the signal between two phones – via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi hotspots – to collect sensitive information from your phone. Even the signal between your phone and a public network can be intercepted.
Phishing attacks are a classic example of a scam that most people are targeted by – and they are becoming much more widespread and sophisticated; for instance, there are specific phishing attacks that target apps like WhatsApp, iMessage, FaceTime, and plenty of other messaging platforms. Many IT Support Companies warn people about how easy it is to access your data. In fact, hackers are beginning to launch targeted phishing attacks via gaming apps – think of your young child, niece, or nephew falling for a phishing attack whilst playing a game on your phone!
Being vigilant about scams, knowing what to look for, and how to avoid them can halt many attacks.
Set-up extra authentication
Some attacks are less sophisticated. For instance, you might lose your phone, and an opportunistic person may attempt to access your phone – and if that happens, you’ll be thankful you at least have a passcode in place (or kicking yourself for never set one up).
Passcodes are not the be-all-end-all of phone encryption, however. It is helpful to set up extra authentication that only works for you. For example, nobody else has the same fingerprint as you! Setting up fingerprint or face recognition can add a layer of encryption to your phone.
It would help if you had extra authentication for certain apps, even behind your lock screen. Staying on top of their authentication channels is essential for all businesses, and having the proper Business IT Support, London Solution, can make this easier. If you have work apps, you should have multi-factor authentication in place for them. Apps such as Duo, or Microsoft Authenticator, allow you to set up a policy of entering a one-time code to unlock an app.
Setup Backup & Remote Wipe
If you lose your phone and you’re worried that some people might be able to get through your phone encryption, there are still options for protecting your data. For example, in the settings of an iPhone, you can set it so that your iPhone erases all its data after 10 failed passcode attempts. The ‘Find My iPhone’ app also allows you to remotely wipe your iPhone if you’re sure you’ve lost it.
With this protocol, you should also ensure you have a backup service. For iPhone, this can be done with iCloud. But third-party services are also available, such as IDrive or Backblaze (a good option for your business).
A Quick Overview
As smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives, it is essential to adopt essential cybersecurity practices to ensure the safety and security of personal data. Here are some critical cybersecurity practices for smartphone users:
- Keep your device updated: Regular software updates provide security patches that protect your device against known vulnerabilities.
- Use strong passwords or biometric authentication: Use a strong password or biometric authentication to secure your device. Using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols in your password are recommended.
- Be cautious while using public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi is a haven for hackers. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks when conducting sensitive activities like banking, shopping, or accessing confidential information.
- Install security software: Install security software on your smartphone to protect it from malware and viruses.
- Disable Bluetooth and NFC: Disable Bluetooth and NFC when not in use. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in these features to gain unauthorized access to your smartphone.
- Enable remote wipe: Enable the remote wipe feature on your smartphone to delete your data in case it is lost or stolen.
- Use encrypted messaging apps: Use encrypted messaging apps like Signal or WhatsApp to protect your messages from being intercepted.
Smartphone users can protect their data from malicious cyber threats by adopting these cybersecurity practices.