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5 steps to protect your smartphone against hackers

If you own a smartphone, tablet or even computer you most likely have thought about security measures to secure your data. Information contained in these devices is often confidential and therefore the need to keep prying eyes away. In fact, securing data is critical for smartphone security in an era where someone may track you down simply by the location information being transmitted in real-time by an app installed on your phone.

In order to ensure you are secure online there are a number of things that you need to do right from the beginning after you unbox your device. What is provided here are some of the absolute essential solutions for your smartphone security. In as much as it is not possible to eliminate all the threats conceivable, the steps provided here should have you well covered. The following are the most basic things to consider for your own data security and privacy:

Secure downloads

For this first security measure, most of you our readers should have already come across. The advice is to only download apps from the Google Play Store if you are an android user or Apple’s App Store if you are an iPhone user. Avoid apps from third- party sources as you would avoid a plague. You however will still need to be cautious on the recommended Google and Apple stores since even in these ecosystems some malicious apps normally sneak past the moderators. You can maintain extra vigilance by looking out for the publisher of the apps and only install apps from publishers who are verified by the store’s moderators and also those that are acclaimed by previous users. Apps that have millions of users generally tend to be legitimate apps compared to those that only have a handful. Be sure to check out the comments below the apps, the number of users that have installed it and how the current users have rated the app overall. Beware of rave review chains in the comments section as well since real people will always point out real flaws no matter how good an app is. In the app description, you will also get to find out who the app creators are and their previous work. In addition, carefully assess the types of permissions requested for by the app. For instance, why would a keyboard app want access to your camera app and location? or why would a game app want access to your contact list and messages?

In case you have already installed apps that you are not sure about, you can still amend the permissions they have. For android, simply go to <Settings> and scroll down to . Click to view the list of everything that’s installed. From here, you can then tap <Permissions> and amend what the app is permitted to access. On iOS, go to <Settings> then scroll down to <Privacy>, where permissions are displayed according to “type”. Use this to investigate any suspicious activity.

 

Avoid app addiction

The fewer the number of apps you have in your phone the better. There is no point to have so many installed apps in your phone when there is no particular reason why you have them on there. The general rule of thumb is to rid your phone of apps that waste your time, clatter your phone and apps that invade your privacy (i.e. free VPN apps)

Regularly update your phone and installed apps

The third advice is to ensure that you always keep your apps up to date, including your operating system (android or iOS) and the user interface operating system that’s designed by the manufacturer of the phone. Thankfully, both Google and Apple normally release regular updates to their phones, however, for android lovers Google Pixel phones will get updates faster than any other phone brand for obvious reasons. When buying a new phone be sure to check which operating system it comes with. For instance, if it’s an android phone that comes with Android 9 (Pie), is it upgradable to Android 10? (if you are reading this in 2020)

Have a strong password

Despite the latest advances in face unlock and onscreen fingerprint readers, it is better to have the more traditional pin code password with at least six characters or longer. This will ensure that even if your phone gets stolen, crooks will have a hard time unlocking your device. The worst form of security you can have out of all the options given is the pattern option. Patterns are the weakest link where smartphone security is concerned. And even though the fingerprint readers and face unlock feature are trendy alternatives for quickly accessing your smartphone, whenever you feel like your security status is being compromised, the traditional long pin code is the best go- to option.

Strengthen control on how you access your smartphone

Two- factor authentication is also essential for your security set-up. This is especially crucial to ensure that you are well protected by guarding your most sensitive apps such as Google accounts, social media accounts, your e- wallet and other banking- related apps. Two- factor authentication simply means that besides the password, a one- time authentication code is sent to you via text message to verify your identity. If you ever see this when installing an app, just know that it is part of the security verification process that is essential for you to have. If you forget everything else in this piece, at least remember to avoid online shopping and banking at all costs when you are connected to a public network.

Those are the five things you need to be weary of when it comes to your smartphone security. Make sure to stay safe during this period when the world is on edge over the Corona Virus, and know that your own security comes first. Be sure to leave a comment or check out our products by navigating to the top of the site and search our categories for the best deals in Kenya today.

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