8 Common Smartphone Security Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Did you know that according to Mobile Coach, 94 percent of all Americans now own smartphones? Many of us keep our devices by our sides like security blankets and use them at every hour of every day.

We store important personal photos, financial information, web browsing history, and more. With this in mind, it’s more important than ever before to know some security tips in order to keep your smartphone safe from cyber threats.

Read on to learn the top eight most common smartphone security mistakes and how to avoid them!

  1. Using Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi networks have now become almost ubiquitous throughout the United States. Whether you’re going to a gas station, restaurant, or library, there’s an expectation that the company will offer free WiFi to customers. However, it’s important to avoid using it unless you absolutely have to.

Unsecured Wi-Fi is one of the easiest ways for hackers to gain access to your information. Instead, use the data on your phone plan or use a virtual private network (VPN) app in order to encrypt and secure your data.

  1. Creating Weak Passwords

Passwords are required for almost every website we use. If you’re using a weak password or repeatedly using the same password, you’re leaving yourself open for a potential data leak.

Make sure to use strong passwords that are different for each website. They should contain a combination of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and symbols. If you find it hard to keep track of all those passwords, use software such as 1Password or LastPass.

  1. Exposed Personal Information

Personal information that isn’t encrypted is at the risk of getting in the wrong hands. Doing something as simple as deleting recent searches can help keep our personal information safe. You can find out how to delete searches through this URL: https://setapp.com/how-to/delete-recent-searches.

It’s not recommended to save sensitive information such as your credit card information or passwords on apps such as Notepad. Ensure that you’re using apps that encrypt your data in order to keep your information safe–even if your phone falls into the wrong hands.

  1. Not Updating

It’s important to allow regular phone updates because those updates often come with necessary security fixes. If your smartphone is running on a significantly older version, you’re leaving yourself open to security loopholes that hackers exploit in order to gain access to your data.

Updating your smartphone also helps save you the costs of potential repair. For instance, if you haven’t updated your phone and you’re experiencing battery issues, slow performance, or sudden shutdowns, you may just need to update it to resolve those issues.

  1. Clicking on Strange Links

Phishing is a technique that hackers use in order to trick you into downloading malware. These often come in the form of emails or texts that may seem official at first, but you won’t be able to recognize the email address or number.

Many of these emails can be recognizable by poor grammar or strange requests that a company wouldn’t normally ask you to do through an email. It’s important to have a healthy dose of skepticism when you receive an email or task that’s asking for a password or personal information.

Call the company’s customer support line that you can find on their official websites in order to ascertain whether it’s legitimate or not.

  1. Not Verifying Apps

This is a particular problem with people who own Android smartphones. It’s possible to download and install apps that come with malware on the Google Play store, so unless you’re about to download an app from a well-known company, make sure to check out the reviews as well as the developer’s history.

Jailbreaking your phone isn’t often recommended because it strips the phone of all security layers. Although this gives you the ability to download apps outside of the phone’s App Store, you’re leaving yourself even more open to potential malware or hacking attempts.

  1. Not Locking Your Phone

Locking down smartphones has become a more common practice, but some people who fail to do so don’t realize that if their phone gets lost or stolen, they could be losing more than just their hardware.

Information such as your address, health records, financial records, and more could be exposed by a robber who could use this information to harm you or steal your identity.

Locking your phone enables you to protect your personal information even when the phone is stolen. For some phones, you’ll have the ability to enable an entire system wipe if the password has been tried and failed too often.

  1. Giving Unlimited Permissions

You’re probably familiar with the notifications that come up once you download a new app. They often ask you for access to your location, contacts, photos, and more. Make sure that the app permissions you’ve given are necessary, as some aren’t necessary in order to use the app.

If you feel like the app is asking for too much access, remember that you can always delete it and find another app that has more reasonable permissions.

Avoid These Smartphone Security Mistakes for Smart Browsing

By avoiding these smartphone security mistakes, you’re making your smartphone significantly more safe to use. Keep your passwords up-to-date, download any security updates, and make sure to remain skeptical of apps or links that don’t seem safe.

You’ll also want to lock your phone in case it ever gets lost or stolen in order to avoid having your personal information exposed. You can see that all of these tips are simple and don’t require any advanced technical knowledge!

Want more ways to keep your digital life secure? Keep reading our blog for more informative tips and tricks!