Staying at home during the pandemic has made us even more dependent on technology. Protecting your devices from fraud and hacking is the need of the hour.
Cyber-criminals spread malware that preys on the private data in your smartphone and hackers use fake links via text messages to extract personal log-in information. But making your smartphone a safe place is easier than it sounds.
Here’s a brief guide on how you can keep your digital companion secure:
- Increase the security on your phone by activating the lock-screen function, setting strong passwords or multiple fingerprint scans instead of a four-digit pin. This makes it harder for a criminal to invade your phone.
- Download apps only from approved sources such as Google Play, Apple’s App Store or Microsoft Store to your phone. Apps from dubious sources may contain malware that can even hack into your two-factor authentication and lure you onto fraudulent login pages.
- Install software updates promptly and activate automatic installation. Updates repair existing vulnerabilities in the phone that could be exploited by criminals.
- Exercise caution when using public WLANs and refrain from sending emails or banking online. It’s easier for criminals to eavesdrop on the data traffic on a public WLAN.
- Some subscriptions come at a cost. Block third-party services with your mobile phone provider to avoid being billed for expensive subscriptions. Fraudsters place false ads which activate paid subscriptions when you respond to the text message, phone call or click on the given link.
- Keep an eye on your smartphone’s moods. If the battery is getting used up too quickly or the phone has become slow, it’s likely that your phone’s been infected with malware. Reset the device, re-install the operating system and your apps and change all your passwords to get rid of the bug.
- Don´t take any risks! Never store your log-in data on your phone in any form, back up your data so it can be recovered in case of malware infection and install an anti-virus programme if your phone allows it.
- Think smart. Use VPN instead of a public WLAN. When changing phones, make sure the new owner of your old device doesn’t have access to your information. Be careful with USB connections. Malware can get onto a phone via manipulated chargers/ USB cables or an infected PC you connected your phone with.
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