A manual with the most practical tips to block today´s feistiest digital pirates.
You may have heard of that terrifying tale about how hackers today can immediately infiltrate your private life. They are often portrayed by Hollywood as lanky, antisocial geeks who spend their entire lives on their tech and away from society, with their only purpose being to take revenge on those who have wronged them ( coughs Mr. Robot coughs ).
This is an obviously overexaggerated stereotype and recurring theme in sci-fi/fantasy movies, but we cannot deny that unethical hackers do exist in the digital world.
Deconstructing the Modern-Day Edward Thatch
The inevitable reality today is that the Blackbeards, Henry Morgans, and Captain Kidds of today exist to professionally invade your digital space and use your information as blackmail. Believe it or not, these cyber-buccaneers have the ability to retrieve the following from your devices:
1.Financial information, bank numbers, card numbers, 2.Personal information, birthdates, social security, and 3.Hidden photos, videos and documents.
Cybersecurity has become an alarming issue over the rise of unsecured data on people's devices, most especially if our smartphones get stolen, lost, or hacked. Imagine the amount of personal information it contains!
As such, we have compiled a pseudo-survival guide to help you block hackers from your phone. Some of these will seem pretty intuitive, but it's important not to cut any corners in today's era where we have to protect ourselves from the best hackers out there.
Tip 1. Keep your phone locked at all times.
Let's begin by addressing the obvious.
Keeping your phone locked with a unique passcode keeps you safe, but you'd be surprised just how much of an advantage this seemingly menial habit would be against hackers.
As a first step, make sure to use a strong, unique passcode. In case your phone gets lost or stolen and you have confidential information in your phone, you at least have an initial line of defense.
Tip 2. Always update your phone's OS
iOS and Android software updates are never fun.
You have a laundry list of chores to do: it takes time, your phone needs to have a certain amount of battery, and it also has to be connected to stable WiFi. It´s a major ugh moment for smartphone users, but these seemingly useless OS updates contain major security patches and upgrades.
If you want to maintain your phone health and keep your data safe, we recommend not skipping these updates.
Tip 3. Be Careful when Connecting to Public Wifi
It´s a sunny Tuesday morning and you head on to your local coffee shop for your usual breakfast fix. You then start to pull out your laptop and your phone, and you connect to the cafe´s public WiFi.
Does this scenario sound familiar to you? If it does, then you should be aware that hackers have utilized public WiFi as a common tool to sneak into your devices. When using public WiFi, your personal information and website history become decrypted, and as a result they can be easily intercepted. It's best to avoid connecting to public WiFi altogether.
If you fall victim to this scheme, hackers can seize data between the websites you visit and do with it as they wish. Now that's not a Tuesday morning you'd like to have, right?
Tip 4. Disable Auto-Log Ins and Password Auto Fills
Auto logins and password managers have instantly become a great convenience as soon as they were introduced to smartphone users. Imagine never having to log in with a password ever again? It's simple, fast, and seemingly trouble-free.
In actuality, auto log-in capabilities may increase the risk of your data being compromised. If your phone gets lost, stolen, or even borrowed for just a few seconds, other people can automatically log in to your social media profiles and bank account apps without any difficulties.
Tip 5. Use Phone Tracking Services
You can be the most responsible and organized person on Earth, but you can still be guilty of losing your phone unconsciously.
Good thing is, technology has developed phone tracking services so you can determine where your phone´s potential location is. IPhone users have the Find my iPhone app and Android users have the Find my Device app. Make sure to take advantage of these free services.
Tip 6. Store Personal Information in a Safe Place on your Phone
We´re definitely saving the best for last.
Over the course of this privacy survival guide, we instructed you to have a unique passcode and a functional tracking service. We also reminded you of your civic duty as a digital citizen by considering disabling auto log-ins and not connecting to public WiFi.
But if you truly wish to keep your information private, we highly recommend not leaving any trace of your personal data on your phone. You can do this by downloading the Keepsafe Photo Vault, a secure photo locker app that encrypts your most sensitive information. Keepsafe allows you to create a unique, encrypted passcode to make sure only you have exclusive access to your private photos, videos, and other documents.
Be mindful of your digital data today.