How to protect your smartphone from hackers and protect your privacy

There are different ways to take care of your cell phone, and all the information you have in its storage, photos, personal and banking data and much more. The main thing is protect your smartphone from hackersRemember that they are every day trying to make you careless and take the slightest opportunity to steal everything possible.

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Update your operating system and applications

If an update is announced for the operating system of your cell phone or any of the applications, install it as soon as possible, it does not matter if you do not use that app frequently.

Companies are constantly updating their software, but they are not just doing it for aesthetic reasons. Many updates include bug fixes and security enhancements, which help protect your smartphone from hackers and data theft by eliminating vulnerabilities.

Avoid public Wi-Fi

Everyone should know the dangers of using an open Wi-Fi network. A public network in shopping malls, cafes, airports or any other public place is an ideal space for pirates.

Try to use only your mobile connection and disable the Wi-Fi connection when you are in a public place. If that’s not possible, consider a VPN app, which channels network communications through an encrypted connection.

But be very careful: not all VPNs are of the same quality. We also suggest disabling Bluetooth, unless you use a smartwatch that requires it.

Block your smartphone

Always enter a four or six digit passcode to access your device. They may not be very convenient, but you will appreciate it if you lose it in a public place.

Lock screen of an iPhone

Email, contacts, photos, and banking information could easily be exposed. Even consider a longer password, with numbers and letters.

If this security mechanism bothers you, fingerprint scanning and face identification are easier and faster alternatives. Make sure apps with personal information are also locked with passwords.

Keep your mobile phone number private

Just as before you did not give your landline number to the first person who asked for it, do not give your cell phone number to any application that asks for it. The more you provide your number, the more vulnerable you will be to SMS hacks and scams, and even invasion of your protected two-step verification accounts (2FA).

Consider adding a second line to your cell phone. Google Voice is a great way to protect your number from online criminals just like apps like Sideline, Line2 y Hushed, which make it easy to add a second line to your mobile phone.

Do not share your life excessively in the RRSS

It’s okay to use your real name on social media like Facebook and Twitter, but avoid sharing “tons” of revealing information about yourself.

Privacy settings screen of an RRSS app

Avoid listing home cities, specific addresses, specific work locations, phone numbers, last names, and other details that hackers can use to track you down.

Facebook allows you to hide much of the information about yourself with its privacy settings and tools, including most of your photos, friend lists, and more.

Take care of yourself and speed up your feed to get rid of old and outdated information that might reveal more about you than you want. Better yet: if you can, use Facebook only on your home computer, rather than on your phone.

Don’t risk your personal information

Do not store personal information, documents or files on your cell phone and limit the number of geotagged photos in your Camera Roll or Gallery.

Get in the habit of keeping your cell phone with the least amount of personal information, downloading images and documents to your computer, and deleting confidential emails from financial accounts, employers and also related to your health.

Use two-factor authentication

This is another security measure that most do not support. The two-factor authentication (2FA) it’s annoying because it involves an extra step, and it’s really a pain if you forget to have your cell phone nearby. But, like passwords, it provides an additional layer to protect the smartphone from hackers.

Use strong passwords

Everyone hates passwords. But when it comes to assigning them, don’t take half measures.

Password Generator screen

Only use strong passwords that hackers won’t easily crack. They must contain 16-20 characters, with a combination of letters and numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and symbols.

Brute force password crackers will be able to dismantle many, but making their task easier by using your birthday, your pet’s name, or the same password for everything is a terrible idea.

There are many online password generators, so you don’t necessarily have to create them on your own. Change your passwords every six months to a year, or when you find out about a data breach in your applications.

Don’t answer the security questions honestly and change your answers. This makes it more difficult for hackers to figure out how to get into your phone, based on your public information available online.

Beware of spam and phishing emails

One of the easiest ways for hackers to invade your cell phone and access your information is through your email inbox. Phishing scams (phishing) are designed to trick you into transferring access to your accounts.

Avoid clicking links in promotional emails, opening suspicious attachments, or executing requested application updates via email.

Do not access financial accounts through random emails, but instead go to the financial institution’s website and log in with your username and password.

Use built-in device protections

They are not called “smartphones” for nothing. If your cell phone is lost or stolen, you can, hopefully and to some extent, control the damage with device tracking services.

Find My iPhone Settings Screen

Always have enabled and configure tracking apps such as Find My iPhone and Find My Device for Android, which locate your smartphone on a map and, in some cases, they can delete it automatically.

These services can make your cell phone ring to locate it, if, for example, you cannot find it inside your house. Also, you can have it delete all information after a specified number of password attempts.

Use an antivirus application

The hackers they prefer malicious programs to steal passwords and account information. But you can combat it with an antivirus application for mobile devices, some of which are derived from popular desktop applications, such as Avast, McAfee and Panda.

Mobile variations provide enhanced security by ensuring that the applications, PDF documents, images, and other files you download are not infected with malware.

Manage permissions for applications

Check the applications on your cell phone to determine if they have more privileges than they need. You can grant or deny permissions, such as access to the camera, microphone, contacts, or location. Keep a record of these and revoke those that are not necessary.

Privacy settings screens for apps on an Android and an iPhone

On an iPhone, go to Settings> Privacy, where you will see a list of all the applications and the permissions that you have granted.

On an Android cell phone, it will depend on each device. On a Google Pixel, it will be in Settings> Applications and notifications> Advanced> Permission manager, while in a Samsung Galaxy you will find it in Settings> Applications> Application permissions from the three vertical points in the upper right.

Backup information

You should consider preparing for the worst, so make regular backup copies of your phone to protect important documents and images in case of loss or theft.

This way you can access those photos or files even if your cell phone is lost or stolen. If your iPhone is backed up, you can program it to erase the information after two unsuccessful password attempts.

Know the origin of your applications

Do not download any old application on your cell phone. Although, in the case of the iPhone, it is limited to the Apple App Store, which reviews all the applications sold on the platform, it is easy to download applications on Android, so not all of them come from the Google Play Store.

The best way to avoid malware on Android is to stick to the selection available on the Google Play Store, which is vetted by Google. Never download applications from a text message, as it is a method that hackers use to inject malware into your cell phone.

Stay away from public chargers

Charge your cell phone only in trusted USB ports, like your computer or in your car. The hackers They can hack into public USB charging ports, like the ones you find in a coffee shop or airport, to steal personal information.

If you are traveling, bring your adapter and your USB cable. The hackers They cannot access your cell phone data through your USB adapter.

Goodbye to jailbreak

Although the jailbreaking It allows iPhone owners to access applications and software that are not available in the Apple App Store, it also exposes your cell phone to viruses and malware. A device with jailbreak It will have no warranty and Apple staff will probably not help you if it has a fault.

In conclusion

If you take preventive measures to protect your smartphone from hackers and intruders, you should feel confident that you have done everything possible to safeguard your sensitive information.

This makes it less likely that they will steal your identity, intrude on your personal life, divert your money, control your cell phone and generally make your life miserable.

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