While most of the world has become used to staying home and relying on their desktop/plugged-in laptop for their work, some still go out, either because they’re essential workers or because COVID has been all but eliminated in their area.
And staying home 24/7 makes us forget what it’s like to treat mobile security as a priority. You never have to worry about our phone’s security at home; You don’t need to tilt your screen away from people when in your home office.
When quarantine is lifted—when countries allow their citizens to resume normal life—it’s vital that mobile security, whether for your phone, tablet, or laptop, is practiced. And if you’ve forgotten how to practice proper mobile security, don’t worry—this article will give you a quick refresher.
3 Threats Affecting Mobile Devices
Fighting back against security threats requires knowing said threats. So, really quick, let’s go over a few threats affecting mobile devices everywhere.
The number one issue facing users everywhere is theft. People leaving their laptop on the table while they go to the bathroom, People forgetting their phone when walking out of a restaurant, and people trusting their devices to people they barely know: these are only a few examples of how theft can happen.
Once someone steals a phone, tablet, laptop, or vice versa, they have free reign over the device. They may extract personal information from it. They may sell it. Mobile device theft carries tons of penalties besides losing an expensive device.
2. Dangerous Apps
While Apple heavily monitors and vets every app that touches its store, the same can’t be said for the Google Play Store, which lacks many of the restrictions Apple imposes on their own store.
This means that some Android apps end up being malware in disguise or some other form of threat. For example, free VPNs tend to collect user data without permission, and there are plenty of those on the Google Play Store.
That’s not to say Apple’s App Store is immune either, but the problem isn’t as widespread.
Speaking of dangerous apps, it’s time to mention malware. Malware exists in every facet of the Internet, from websites to downloads to ads. Unfortunately, mobile devices lack immunity to most malware; even Apple devices are vulnerable to select forms of malware.
5 Ways to Secure Your Mobile Devices
Now that you know a few of the threats facing most mobile devices, it’s time to go over a few ways you can protect your devices.
1. Use a VPN
An unbelievable amount of security threats affecting mobile devices come from unsecure Internet connections, namely ones from public networks. You know, public networks like the one you might use at the local coffee shop.
Something like a VPN will encrypt the data your device sends out to better protect your device and keep cybercriminals from monitoring its activity.
2. Stick to Reputable Apps
While the Google Play Store and App Store contain thousands of apps, only a certain subsect of them are trustworthy, reputable. It’s best for both you and your devices if you stick with apps developed by reputable companies, businesses, and people.
Doing otherwise may come back to haunt your device and puts you at risk of malware or hacks.
3. Keep Your Devices Close
Mobile devices were designed for you to go from point A to point B without having to lug around a huge, heavy computer. But many people don’t realize that the mobility of their devices means they’re easier to steal.
Don’t be like those people—keep your devices on you or near you at all times. Keep them in line of sight. Many people have their devices stolen right in front of them without even noticing.
4. Enable a Passcode
Enabling a passcode/password/fingerprint scanner on your device(s) makes it harder for any aspiring thief to hack into your device. So hard, in fact, that even if they were to steal it, they may give up on trying to hack into it.
5. Stay off Sketchy Websites
While many sketchy websites employ malware and viruses that affect only x64-based OS’s, some have the capabilities to affect Apple and Android devices. This means that you need to avoid any sketchy, scam-filled sites. Your phone is not invincible to these websites!