Whether or you are a casual consumer or high-demand professional, there are some things you will have in common with the other:
- You likely have a smartphone
- You have an unprecedented amount of personal information on it
- There are criminals doing everything they can to get at that information
No one is safe. And no piece of data is too small or insignificant to be of interest to said criminals. Worse yet, your phone is not exactly a vault. Sure, it has state of the art security measures that were the stuff of sci-fi not so many years ago. But the bad actors have also upgraded their tech. So in the tech arms race of good vs. evil, you should consider yourself behind.
Make no mistake about it, you have plenty to protect. On your device sits medical and health information, information about your dating and sexual preferences, trade secrets, addresses and phone numbers of your family and close contacts, browser history, and much more. That list didn’t even include credit card and other financial information. Even if you do not consider yourself a pro, you have pro-level security needs. Here are some pro-level tips for keeping your smartphone secure:
Protect the Phone from Damage
A damaged phone is a vulnerable phone. The moment you take the phone in for repairs, you place your sensitive data into the hands of someone who may not be completely trustworthy. A person with ill-intent might choose to set himself up as a smartphone repair specialist.
When you take your phone in even for a minor repair, you have to provide them your passcodes and other information in case they have to replace parts and restart the phone to test it. Your best defense is to protect your phone from damage in the first place.
The latest iPhones need cases even more than previous versions. That is because there is glass on both the front and the back. Reliable, protective iPhone 8 cases should be a part of every iPhone 8 purchase. And because of the even greater expense, cases are even more important for protecting iPhone X.
Yes, the designs are beautiful and a pleasure to hold and use as designed. But the security of your data may well come down to whether or not your phone has a case on it when it hits the floor.
Use Security Software
iOS has a distinct advantage over Android in that is simply does not have the same attack vectors. It is much harder to target iOS with viruses, spyware, malware, ransomware, and any other ware that doesn’t belong on the phone. Therefore, it is not recommended that most iOS users install any type of security-ware.
Third-party software is not the only safety solution. Both iOS and Android users need to use the software built into their devices. That software includes some type of activation lock, passcode, and biometric locks. Even the weakest password on the worst biometric measure is better than none at all. You wouldn’t leave your house unlocked. And you should not leave your phone unsecured for all the same reasons.
Be Smarter About Smartphone Scams
The easiest way for someone to get your most important passwords is to ask for them. They do this by posing as someone you trust, then creating a scenario that makes entering your password seem sensible. DON’T FALL FOR IT!
Reputable companies never ask you to provide personal information via email. If you get an email about your Apple ID or iCloud password being expired, corrupted, canceled, or brought into question in some other way, it is probably not from Apple.
Do not click on the link! Do not enter your iCloud username or password. If you are curious, go to the browser and go directly to the Apple ID website. Do not follow a link from an email or text message. Such a link should be assumed false.
Protect your device. Use appraise security software. And be smarter about scams. The phones manufacturers can help a little. But the only person responsible for protecting your sensitive data is you.