Android smartphone users are more susceptible to hacking and online theft now, than ever before. It’s extremely important that you’re aware of all of the ways you may be exposing yourself to harm while you’re browsing the web or using apps on your phone.
At Baloota Applications, privacy & digital well-being is at the forefront of our minds every day. So we’ve compiled five of the easiest ways you can keep your phone & online accounts safe.
Don’t be part of the 52% of smartphone users who don’t protect their smartphone device with a password. Setting up a basic 4-digit passcode is by far the easiest way to ensure your phone has a basic level of protection. One of the worst case scenarios in today’s world is accidentally misplacing your phone outside. What makes this hypothetical situation even worse is that anyone with the wrong intentions could access any data on your phone. That could involve anything from identity theft, stolen credit cards, social media profile hacking, and so much more.
Just use a passcode to protect your phone! Many Android offer heighted password security like a pattern lock and alphabetical passcodes. Long story short, the more difficult the password, the more difficult it is for someone to break in your device.
Before we get into not using public wifi, it’s even more important to know that you should turn off your wifi when you’re not using it! It may be a hard habit to get into but it’s worth it. By turning off wifi, you’re saving battery life, lowering your chances of someone getting into your phone, and you’ll also be less distracted by notifications!
If you’re in a metro area frequently, resist the urge to connect to free city wifi, and free public wifi in general. Public, unsecured networks are arguably one of the biggest risks when it comes to internet safety. You should always use a secure, password protected network that’s only available to you or other trusted individuals that are also using the network.
You should also consider using a virtual private network, or an Android VPN app to take your security to the next level.
Bluetooth isn’t as susceptible to hacking as wifi is, however, it is still possible that you could get attacked if a hacker is around the same vicinity as you. It’s not uncommon for smartphone hackers to linger around cafes, public transit, libraries, etc. to prey on unsecured/open devices.
By setting your Bluetooth configuration to “non-discoverable” by default, you mitigate the chance of someone tapping into your phone via Bluetooth nearby devices.
Always research and do your due diligence on every app you install on your Android smartphone. It’s always in your best interest to be safe rather than sorry. Read through Terms & Conditions, watch YouTube reviews, read the developers app store reviews, and make sure the app is encrypted – especially if you’re using it to store private information such as photos, texts, messages, contact information, credit card information, etc.
Backup your online information such as photos to the cloud. By doing this, you’re protecting yourself if your phone is stolen or if one of your accounts gets hacked. It’s also a great habit to practice to save phone storage. If you tend to hoard a lot of information and data on your phone, we especially recommend you do so.
Here’s a list of the top cloud apps if you’re looking to download a trusted platform to use.