There are about 5 billion cell phones in the world, with about half of them being smartphones. That's 2.5 billion smartphones in use, which means that a good third of the world's population is texting, Face Timing, sending and receiving pictures, and doing other things on their phones besides just talking. Even if you were late to the smartphone party, you probably use your smart phone every day now and have a lot of personal information on it. So, you might be wondering, "How can I keep my phone safe and sound?"
You have no reason not to enjoy how fun and useful smartphones are. Every new technology needs a new lesson in how to stay safe. Just remember these tips, and you'll be able to use today's new tools with confidence.
Don't leave your photos fate up to chance by making manual copies. Instead, set your phone to automatically back up your photos online. That way, if your phone gets lost or stolen, you won't lose any memories. There are many ways to do this, and many of them let you just set it and forget about it.
Both Dropbox's Carousel app and Microsoft's OneDrive app can automatically back up your photos to cloud storage, but the former only gives you 5 GB and the latter 7 GB. You can also use the Google+ app for iOS or Android. If you go into settings and set the resolution to 2048 pixels, you can back up as many photos as you want. Or, you can use Flickr, which lets you store high-resolution photos and videos on a 1 TB hard drive.
Why spend $50-$100 on phone storage when you can save music online? Google Play Music can store 20,000 free songs, which you may access on iOS and Android (or unofficial apps for Windows Phone). Download Google's Music Manager and upload your music collection. Amazon Cloud Player stores 250,000 songs for $25 per year. For $10 per month, you may subscribe to Spotify, Rdio, or Beats Music and develop your own cloud music collection.
No Internet? All of these services let you download music for offline listening. Most smartphones have 4G LTE data connections, so it's unlikely you won't be able to access your music.
If this first protection isn't in place, any thief who gets their hands on your phone may access all the information and applications on it. You may protect your phone with a password that only you know and enter it by tapping the screen before using it. If your phone supports it, you may also enable "touch ID" to unlock it with a fingerprint scan, and "face ID" to unlock it using facial recognition.
Any link you receive in an email or text should be looked at with a suspicious eye. If you don’t know the sender, don’t even think about clicking on the link. If you do know the sender, make sure they did indeed send it before you click. False email, text, and message accounts pretending to be a person or entity you know is a common cybercriminal trick, and it’s known as phishing. Don’t take the bait.
It's simple to remain with the defaults for fundamental functions, but you could discover a better one if you test alternatives.
Mailbox is an excellent iOS and Android email alternative that lets you dismiss emails with a swipe, connect Dropbox files, and schedule message reminders. Google's Gmail app for iOS is better for searching and seeing extended discussion threads than the iPhone's default Mail app. Chrome and Firefox allow you access tabs on another device, although Firefox is Android-only. Dolphin Browser has desktop-style tabs, gesture controls, and add-ons.
Always be sure to download and install software updates as soon as they are made available for your device. Fixes for security flaws and vulnerabilities, as well as other essential maintenance, are often included in these updates.
Do not use the same password twice. When cybercriminals get a hold of a user's password, they try it on all of the user's accounts. Don't give them a skeleton key like that. The best way to make unique passwords that are hard to crack is to use a password manager. A password manager is helpful because it will remember all your passwords for you. You could also use sentences or "pass phrases" that are easy to remember. If you need to write them down, go ahead and do so, but put them somewhere other than your computer.
You're busy, out and about, and you need to make internet purchases. In a coffee shop, you connect your phone to their unsecured Wi-Fi network and make a purchase or bank on your phone. There's nothing new. If you must use open Wi-Fi, get a VPN program. It keeps you anonymous online so you may use open Wi-Fi without hackers watching.
Use only the official app stores. If you have an iPhone or iPad, use the Apple App Store. If you have an Android device, use the Google Play store. Malware developers often make fake versions of malicious apps and put them on sketchy third-party sites, hoping that someone will be stupid enough to download them. Apps in official app stores are checked out more carefully.
If you maintain a continuous backup of your phone, you will save yourself a lot of trouble in the future. Therefore, in the event that it is ever stolen or lost, you will not lose access to any of the applications or data.
As a follow-up to this step, which gave you peace of mind, you can remotely delete all of your personal information from your phone if it gets lost or stolen (And you don't have to worry about losing this information because of previous tips).
Make sure to sign out of any online banking or shopping accounts you use on your mobile device after you've finished your business there. Other helpful hints include avoiding doing financial business when connected to a public Wi-Fi network and not saving your usernames and passwords on your mobile device.
Keeping all of the above tips in mind will help you stay safe, and installing a strong security app will take care of the rest. Cybersecurity software runs in the background all the time to make sure no unknown programs or files get on the device. Avast has one of the biggest security engines in the world, and it protects hundreds of millions of users around the world. Install Avast Mobile Security for iOS or Avast Mobile Security for Android to protect your data and your peace of mind.
Have applications and folders overloaded your home screen? Take a few minutes now to avoid headaches later. Put your preferred programs (excluding those in the bottom tray) in the bottom two or three rows of your main screen, without folders. You can reach them without extending. Above those rows, utilize folders for your preferred program categories or Android widgets. I keep calculator, voice notes, and reminders under a "Utilities" folder.
Next, organize screens by use case: gaming, reading, etc. You shouldn't fill every page, so your phone may expand as you add applications.
You don't have to get a data plan for your tablet, even if your wireless provider wants you to. Most of the time, it's cheaper to use your phone as a wireless hotspot that any laptop or tablet can connect to. You already get this service if you have a shared data plan with AT&T or Verizon. It's not as easy as having 4G built into your tablet, but in the long run, it will save you a lot of money. Learn how to set it up and how much it will cost by reading our guide.
Next time a phone salesperson attempts to frighten you into purchasing an extended warranty or insurance, remember this ancient trick: Instead of buying the insurance, save the money in a piggy bank, savings account, or whatever. Do this for any gadgets with a warranty or insurance plan, and you'll likely save enough for a repair or replacement if something goes wrong. No exorbitant deductibles either. (If you lose your phone often, insurance may be a smart idea.)