How to Safeguard Your Smartphone from Hackers

Your smartphone is loaded with personal and professional data that cyber criminals would love to lay their hands-on. Mobile banking and other smartphone-based financial services have become increasingly popular with 45 million people having used mobile banking in 2014. The number is expected to double in 2015.
Yet most mobiles are not completely protected, and most people use them with less protection . In years passed, most tech experts disagreed on how great the threat to mobile security really is. But as smartphones become more ubiquitous, the growing consensus is that users need to take greater steps to safeguard their data.
Here are a couple of suggestions you can use now to safeguard yourself:

Set a password: Set a password on your mobile device so that if it is lost or stolen, your data is more difficult to access. One of the biggest security risks is old-fashioned carelessness. Data is most often taken from mobile phones when they are lost or stolen and are not protected by a password. It is an open invitation for thieves to go rummaging round.

Check your phone bill: Be on the lookout for unusual behaviours on your phone, which could be a sign that it is infected. These behaviours may include unusual text messages, suspicious charges to the phone bill, or suddenly decreased battery life.

Download from trusted sources: Before downloading an app, conduct research to make sure the app is legit. This includes checking reviews, confirming the legitimacy of the app store and comparing the app sponsor’s official website with the app store link to confirm consistency. Many apps from sources not trusted contain malware that once installed, can steal information, install viruses, and cause harm to your phone’s contents.

Backup and secure your data: You should backup all of the data stored on your phone such as your contacts, documents and photos. These files can be stored on your computer, a removal storage card, or in the Cloud. This allows you to restore the information to your phone should it be lost, stolen or otherwise erased.

Understand app permissions before accepting them: You should be cautious about granting applications access to personal information on your phone. Make sure you have checked the privacy settings for each app before installing.

Wipe data on your old phone before you donate, resell or recycle it: To protect your privacy, completely erase data off of your phone and reset the phone to its initial factory settings.

Make sure you have a security app: Download a mobile security app that scans every app you download for malware and spyware and can help you locate a lost or stolen device. Also, make sure the security app protects from unsafe websites.

Report stolen phones: If your phone is stolen, you should report the theft to the police and then register the stolen phone with your wireless provider. This provides a notice to all the major wireless service providers that the phone has been stolen and will allow for remote “bricking” of the phone so that it cannot be activated on any wireless network without your permission.

Watch out for pirated apps: Be careful of apps that offer a typically paid app free or an app that claims to install or download other apps for you. Remember: you get what you pay for.

Never wire money to someone you don’t know: This is understood, doesn’t it?

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