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Smartphone safety

Smartphone safety
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Considering our smartphones are now home to everything from emergency contacts to banking information, keeping those assets out of the wrong hands is more important than ever. Read on for all the mobile security threats you need to be on the alert for and what steps experts recommend you take to protect your device.

The key principles of smartphone security

The key principles of smartphone security
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No matter which type of smartphone you have, these are the four main security issues you should be mindful of.

Virus protection: Like your laptop or desktop, phones are susceptible to hacking and viruses.

Smartphone privacy: Whether it’s a nosy partner, friend, co-worker, or a hacker who is up to no good, maintaining your privacy on your device is paramount.

Phone security: Your phone is often your lifeline and increasingly serves as your digital wallet, which makes it a top target for thieves.

Personal data collection: Apps and even your phone itself are always trying to glean information about you. Find out how much is too much and how you can control what information is – and isn’t – shared about you.

These are the 8 apps security experts would never have on their phone.

Phone security best practices: 1. Ignore and avoid phishing attacks

Phone security best practices: 1. Ignore and avoid phishing attacks
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Hackers and digital thieves are becoming craftier than ever in an attempt to steal the keys to your identity. Once you’re aware of their tricks and know about the latest scams, you won’t fall victim or mistakenly download a virus to your phone. Your first line of defence: immediately delete any questionable emails or texts and learn how to stop spam texts altogether.

Learn what hackers can do with just your phone number.

2. Use antivirus for phones

2. Use antivirus for phones
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Did you know that even with the latest iPhone security updates, iPhones can get viruses, too? Android users will want to know the ins and outs of Google Play Protect. If you should accidentally download a virus, we have you covered for that as well and can fill you in on how to remove hidden malware on an Android phone. Of course, investing in a secure phone is essential to preventing security problems in the first place.

These are the warning signs that you need a new phone.

3. Secure your messages to maintain privacy

3. Secure your messages to maintain privacy
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Whether you’re in a career that demands privacy or you’re simply planning a surprise birthday party for a friend, you’ll want to know about these strategies for keeping your texts and phone calls secure. Start by learning how to hide text messages on an iPhone. Then consider if you need an encrypted phone – find out what this buzzword actually means and why and how to encrypt your iPhone or Android phone. The most secure messaging apps are a must for anyone with privacy concerns.

This is how to hide private photos from an iPhone or iPad.

4. Manage your app permissions

4. Manage your app permissions
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Your smartphone and the apps you download to your phone know a lot about you, sometimes even too much. One of the quickest ways to keep your personal information private is by paying attention to your app permissions. For example, does your rideshare app really need access to your contact list or your calendar? Both iPhones and Androids have made it easier than ever to control app permissions, but you still need to do your homework in order to limit them to the ones the app truly needs.

Learn the 17 hidden iPhone hacks that you’ll can’t believe you lived without.

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5. Lock your phone

5. Lock your phone
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According to a 2017 Pew Report, almost 30 percent of smartphone owners do not even use a screen lock or other security features; yet the easiest and most obvious way to keep your phone protected is to regularly lock your home screen and use two-factor authentication. Additionally, experts recommend that you go the extra mile, so make sure you don’t have a weak password and learn how to lock apps on your phone.

Here are 12 password mistakes that hackers hope you’ll make.

6. Be wary of public Wi-Fi

6. Be wary of public Wi-Fi
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Sure, it can be convenient to check your email while waiting for your train or bus and you may occasionally go to the coffee shop down the street to work. But logging on to an open Wi-Fi network could potentially open your device up to hackers – if you’re not careful.

You should also be aware of these signs that someone is stealing your wi-fi.

7. Use a recovery app to find a lost phone

7. Use a recovery app to find a lost phone
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A lost or stolen iPhone may feel like the worst thing in the world that can happen, but there are steps you can take immediately to protect yourself and your information. Plus the built-in Find My iPhone app can help you reconnect with your lost phone.

Don’t jailbreak or root your device

Don’t jailbreak or root your device
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Finally, experts strongly recommend against jailbreaking your iPhone or rooting your Android. (Jailbreaking is the term used to describe hacking into Apple’s mobile operating system iOS and tweaking it so you can customise the appearance and performance of your iPhone. When similar modifications are made to an Android smartphone, the process is called rooting.) Why? Even though jailbreaking your phone may seem appealing, no customisation is worth making your phone vulnerable to hacking or other viruses.

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