The world we live in is obsessed with technology. You can’t go anywhere without seeing some sort of device, whether it be a laptop, a tablet, or, most commonly, a smartphone. Although we can no longer go without this tech, we do need to be extremely careful with it. Over the past few years, we’ve seen cyber attacks on some of the biggest corporations and agencies in the entire world. That alone shows how much of a risk hackers pose and how vulnerable our devices are. With that in mind, here are ten easy ways to protect your smartphone and tablet from hackers.
1. Stay Up To Date
Updating your devices can definitely be a tiresome process, sometimes resulting in annoying changes to the interface that you’re used and have grown attached too. That being said, it is crucial, nonetheless. A lot of the time, successful hacks exploit vulnerabilities that have already been spotted and patched up. If you put off updating your phone or tablet, however, you leave those loopholes wide open, allowing hackers to do with them whatever they wish to.
2. Watch What You Install
When first installing an app on a smartphone or tablet, you may be asked to grant it certain permissions. These tend to include access to your camera and photographs, the ability to read your files, and sometimes to listen in on the microphone. There are legitimate reasons for apps wanting these capabilities, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re open to abuse. Before you approve any request from an app, you must check there haven’t been any bad reviews of it.
3. Keep It Locked Up
If a thief were ever to get physical access to your device, they could cause a lot of trouble. After all, most people save a lot of personal information on their phones and tablets, including names, addresses, contact details, payment information, and much more. Because of this, you should ensure that your devices are locked whenever you’re not using them. Opt for the most complicated password that you can and use fingerprints and facial recognition if that’s an option.
4. Adopt An Alter Ego
Although locking your devices can make it difficult for thieves and hackers to get into them, it’s far from a definite solution. Most of the time, you can reset your passwords using pieces of your personal data, like your mother’s maiden name, the name of your first pet, and the street where you grew up. Therefore, if these facts can be found somewhere on the internet, anyone can unlock your devices. For this reason, you may want to use fake facts from an alter ego.
5. Use A Wireless Charger
Connecting your tablet or phone to a strange wire, charger, or outlet is an incredibly risky move, as there are many ways with that hackers could apprehend your data. Because of this, you should consider investing in an iPhone or iPad Mini fast charging wireless charger. This would reduce the risk to your phone if you were to connect to a dangerous power source. You could also carry a charging cable and power bank of your own or use a charging phone or tablet case.
6. Ignore Those Spam Emails
Everyone knows that they shouldn’t open emails from people that they don’t know. However, that doesn’t stop so many people from doing it every single day. Junk emails are a favorite tactic among cyber criminals. They often include password prompts, fake attachments, suspicious links, and more, all to gain access to your devices or your personal data. If you ever get an email from someone that you don’t know, just delete it. Nothing is worth the risk of opening that spam.
7. Beware Of Lock Screen Notifications
Unfortunately, it’s not just dangerous emails that pose a risk to you. If you allow notifications to pop up on your lock screen, then any of the emails that you received throughout the day could potentially be seen by a criminal-type. This can cause a lot of problems if any of those emails contain personal data. For this reason, you should consider turning off those types of notifications. You may want to disable your access to Siri from the lock screen too.
8. Avoid Public WiFi Connections
When you’re out and about and low on data, any sort of open wifi connection can seem like a Godsend. However, before you connect to that hotspot, you should check that it is legitimate. Some cybercriminals set up wifi connections in the names of hotels and coffee shops nearby. This is because, with the right tools, they can see everything that you do online through those connections. It’s best to avoid connecting to public wifi, but, if you need to, then use a VPN.
9. Set Up Tracking Services
Most phones and tablets have some sort of “find my device” service, which can locate the device on a map if it’s stolen or you happen to lose it. This will only work, though, if you set up those features. Once you have, you can usually lock or erase your device too. This means that you can stop a thief or hacker in their tracks when they’re trying to get ahold of your information. Some people also make it so that their devices erase after a certain number of failed passwords.
10. Always Erase Your Data
New phones and tablets are coming out all the time, which means that we very rarely keep hold of our current models for long. Rather than recycle or throw your tech away, you might decide to sell it on to someone else. Before you do that, however, you must remember to erase all of your data. Some people buy second-hand tablets and smartphones just in case the seller has left any information on them. It’s critical that you make sure that you don’t.
Our smartphones and tablets are much more vulnerable than most people imagine. If you want to protect your tech from cybercriminals, then follow the advice above.
[Photo by: Adrianna Calvo from Pexels]