Our mobile devices have become an essential part of our daily lives. From Facebook to your Coins.ph app, you can do almost everything with just a few taps on your phone.
However, the convenience of being mobile also brings about certain risks. Proper safety and security measures must be observed to prevent experiencing cyber attacks such as unauthorized access, data breaches, malware, and even loss of mobile device control.
Here are 6 tips to secure your mobile device:
1. Download apps from verified sources
Apps from unofficial sources and third-party sites may contain malware. This can be used by fraudsters to gain unauthorized access to your mobile device and obtain your personal information, passwords, or more.
2. Review and Limit App Permissions
Even when you install apps from legitimate sources, make sure to check the app's permissions. Limit the app’s access to only what is required for it to function.
- Weather App
- Required: Access to location and internet connection
- Not required: Access photos and SMS/Call history
- Photo Editor App
- Required: Access to Photo Gallery, Files and Folders
- Not required: Access to Call history and Contacts.
3. Enable Passcode and Biometrics Lock
Make sure to require a password or biometrics to unlock your device and approve transactions (e.g. app purchase, fund transfers). Avoid using pattern locks as these are very easy to guess. The recommended method is biometrics such as FaceID, Touch ID, or fingerprint scanner.
4. Avoid rooting or jailbreaking your device
Rooting or jailbreaking provides admin or "superuser" access that lets you customize, remove restrictions, run specialized apps, and even alter system settings on your device.
However, this may also expose your device to more security risks. Once a fraudster gets access to your device with superuser (root) access, they can also avoid the manufacturer's built-in security mechanisms and easily get full control of your device.
5. Disable auto-connect to Wi-Fi
Avoid auto-connecting to known wi-fi networks on your devices. When this option is enabled, your device would continuously try to connect to wi-fi networks. There are special devices and software that can look for such requests and immediately create a fake Wi-Fi network with the same name.
Your phone or tablet would then automatically connect to this fake network and a fraudster would be able to intercept all data (including passwords and payments information) that you send or receive.
6. Deactivate and uninstall unused apps
If you haven't used an app for a long time, it might be a good idea to delete your account and uninstall the app.
Not only would you free up space on your device, but with fewer apps, potential fraudsters have less entry points to get access to your data. Some apps may also have various security issues and vulnerabilities, especially if these are not updated regularly.