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Smartphone Security Checklist : Why Password is Not Enough ?

McAfee Mobile Security report I’ve came across recently revealed a something rather disturbing. According to the report, 36% of mobile users don’t use a password to protect their device. This statistic is frightening enough, but when you take into the consideration that the number could be even higher because many people won’t admit that they don’t password-protect their phones, you realize that the situation is alarming.


Everything Starts with a Strong Password ✓

Let’s assume that you’re one of those 36% of people who don’t use a password, and let’s say that you’re thinking about your potential pass right now. If that’s the case, don’t pick either “1234”, “123456789”, or any other simple, outdated password that a lot of people still use, even though they are easily crackable and generally unsafe. The best thing to is combine a memorable sentence with an important date (but avoid your birthday) into a password.


And since you visit so many sites, and use so many apps every day, make sure that you have a different password for every account. If you use the same password and email combination for everything, if a somehow data from one account leaks, everything you use will be compromised. And since you’ll have so many complicated passwords, you should think about using a password managing tool like True Key or Sticky Password Manager that can make keeping track of every password more convenient and less time-consuming if you happen to forget any one.

Guard yourself form Free Wi-Fi Hotspots ✓

Here is something many people still don’t know, even though it should be common knowledge – using public Wi-Fi exposes your device, and everything you do on the internet to everyone on the network. Even an inexperienced hacker can snoop on your browsing session, and even masquerade as you on social media and other websites that require a login, and easily sniff out your password. Now, even if you use a different password for every site, and while this person might not have access to all of your usernames and passes, this person can easily stumble upon your credit card data, and use that info to rob you clean.


But ok, everyone checks their email on an unfamiliar public hotspot from time to time. Seeing how the Internet-of-Things is slowly becoming a reality, and how most of us constantly connected, there are some things you should do to protect your personal data from cybertheives. Basically, you need to use a Virtual private network to secure everything you do online. Using a VPN means that every little piece of data you receive and send from your phone will be encrypted. While there are numerous free providers out there, it’s better to use a paid service, like ExpressVPN, because they provide more features, bandwidth and protection. Then, you can peacefully connect to any hotspot you want, knowing that your provider is keeping you safe with ExpressVPN.

Always be Careful with Credit Cards ✓

Today, you can buy everything you want online, from plain, blank clothes to canned unicorn meat, which why everyone with an Internet connection buys something online at least once a month. But if you’re using your credit card to shop online (and chances are, you are doing just that), there is a big risk that your Information might get stolen and sold on the black market. If you want to go the extreme rout, you can always start using Bitcoins, but seeing how many sites don’t accept them and how expensive they are you should probably go for a more basic approach.



For instance, even though most people don’t check a URL on their phones, you should definitely check every time you want to buy something. And only use a credit card on sites with the prefix “https”, because the letter “s” indicates that the site is using a secure protocol on encrypt and protect communications between the user and the site. Most legit shopping and banking sites use the prefix, and if you don’t see it, there is a huge possibility of your credit card data being compromised.

 Don’t Let Your Email Get Hacked ✓

This might sound a little bit strange, but even though we are living in the age of Facebook, Snapchat and Slack (for business purposes), most people still use emails to communicate. In fact, according to the most recent Email Statistics Report, people send and receive over 100 billion emails every day. So it’s not surprising how many email accounts still get hacked on a daily basis. And believe it or not, there are some people out there that still click on email attachments from unknown addresses and untrustworthy sources – hundreds of thousands of them actually.



But if you click on an attachment by accident, first thing you should do is contact all of your friends in your mailing list. Cybercriminals will often use your account to distribute malicious software by emailing your contacts. In order to prevent this from happening, you should implement the two-step authentication. When this authentication is enabled, logging into your Gmail requires one extra step – after the password is entered, a code is sent to your phone via text, which you then enter in the next screen. So if a hacker doesn’t have your phone in his possession, everything he has is basically useless.

Conclusion

All of the tips we talked about in this list are also useful if you use a tablet, of course, you have to keep in mind that every smartphone model is different, and if you want complete security for a specific model, find a list of tips for the phone you own. All in all, while hacking is a serious thing, and sometimes, the situation can be out of your hands, but the tips above are things you can definitely control. Finally, you are always faced with the threat of someone physically stealing your phone, so you should always put your device in a hard to access place. 


By Adam Ferraresi

The twenty-three year-old Adam was born and raised in Dallas, where he still works and resides to this day. He’s a un-and-coming web developer and a passionate writer, whose informative articles you can find on wefollowtech.com. He’s an avid Mavericks’ fan, and if he’s not at his computer, you can find on some court, practicing his corner shot.

Shrey Kapoor is a Tech-Enthusiast, Harvard certified Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics Expert. He Founder Techphlie.com, which is one of the India's Top Tech News Website. Even Forbes and many other renowned publishers took his articles reference. Shrey is a Technology analyst, strategic thinker and creative writer who is passionate to deliver the best, latest possible Tech-News to his followers and subscribers. He completed his masters in Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, certified in IPR, T.Q.M. & ISO 9001:2008 In Quality Management Systems.

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