6 ways to make your phone safer

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Pau Monfort
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Locking the device is just the beginning. Just like computers, smartphones have their own security flaws. There have been many examples of security breaches on an Android device in 2018. Even though Android is always on guard by releasing new security updates from time to time.

While everyone says Apple's iOS is more secure than Google's Android operating system, all phones remain vulnerable and are exposed. Furthermore, in September of last year alone Sophos Labs discovered that over 30% of the identified ransomware was on the Android platform and there are approximately 10 million Android apps classified as "suspicious".

Given the rise of mobile malware, users must constantly be vigilant and make sure their phones are safe, and here are 6 ways to make your phone more secure.

1. Lock your phone

Enabling a phone to lock on its own when not in use for a short time is a milestone in keeping the device safe. When your phone is locked, it prevents others from accessing your device and all its data and apps. 

While phone locking was a bit annoying years ago, modern smartphones offer a variety of unlocking options, including fingerprint sensors and facial recognition, so you no longer have the excuse that it's inconvenient to have to unlock your phone.

When configuring the lockout settings, you can specify the number of minutes before the phone locks, then specify a short interval of a few minutes to ensure that an unattended phone locks itself.

The phone also needs to be automatically set to the lock screen after rebooting and requires a PIN, not a fingerprint or other less secure connection, so that the initial unlock offers a higher level of security.

2. Keep the operating system up to date

Android users continue to face fragmentation of their operating system. The most common version of Android in use as of February 2022 is Oreo, with a market share of 28,5%, but only 1,1% of Android phone users are running the latest version, Pie, while KitKat (4,4 , 12 years) still holds XNUMX% of the market, according to Fossbytes.

The situation is better, but far from perfect, in the Apple field. While the latest version of iOS has the highest 70% market share, there is a minority of users who still use the old versions.

Android users continue to be groped by phone makers not releasing the latest updates for their phones, and therefore neither are operators releasing them, leaving users potentially vulnerable to new threats, a situation that Google is trying to address with its. latest attempt to facilitate Android updates.

Our recommendation is that if your phone is no longer updated, it's time to replace it with a new one. When looking for a new smartphone, in addition to new features, look for a phone that will receive long-term updates.

3. Avoid unsafe brands

Some phones have a reputation for receiving more frequent updates, such as the Pixels and iPhones which keep getting updates for several years. However, with other smartphones it is quite the opposite.

In February, the issue of phone security reached Congress in the United States, with intelligence officials saying that phones from Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE should be considered unsafe, effectively going so far as to accuse these phones of spying on phones. US citizens.

Google vs Huawei: what happens now? All the answers!

In general, the safest choice is to stick to more traditional brands that have a high profile in the market, rather than second or third tier products.

4. Encryption

With all the data on your smartphone - emails, contacts, financial apps and more - it goes without saying that if your phone is lost or stolen you don't want a scammer to access it. The solution is to encrypt the phone's memory, so that if it falls into someone else's hands, the data is protected.

Thankfully, setting up encryption is pretty straightforward - just follow our how-to guide.

What is encryption and how does it work?

5. Cerca i virus

Mobile devices are increasingly sensitive to malware, including ransomware. Even the Google Play Store continues to be plagued with malware, with immutable programs attracting a staggering 4,2 million downloads, including hacking ExpensiveWall disguised as wallpaper apps.

The solution, just like when downloading software to a laptop or PC, is to be wary of downloads from traditional vendors and unverified sources and to periodically scan for viruses and malware.

While Windows desktop operating systems come with Windows Defender to protect themselves from malware, mobile platforms don't yet have a default antivirus program. The simplest solution is to download and install an anti-malware app, and we have recommended choices of reputable vendors for both iOS and Android.

6. Don't jailbreak / root your phone

Android Root in 2022: Is It Worth It?

IPhone users jailbreak their devices, believing that to get the most out of their phone they need to free it from Apple's built-in restrictions. Android users do something similar, although the term here is to root the device rather than jailbreak.

The problem with both is that it allows users to download rogue apps that may contain malware. For example, in 2015 the KeyRaider malware that targeted jailbroken iPhones and stole 225.000 Apple accounts, including passwords.

The benefits of Root on an Android device

That attack, however, pales in comparison to the most recent CopyCat malware that affected 14 million Android devices, and even rooted eight million without the owner knowing. The source of the malware was popular apps downloaded from sites other than the Google Play Store.

From a security perspective, the best practice is to not jailbreak your phone and stick to the original operating system to avoid exposing the phones to malware and other threats.

4 reasons why you should never root your Android phone

Further Reading:

  • How to make your TikTok account private in 5 steps
  • How to protect your TikTok account
  • How to password protect a zip file and folder
  • How to enable (and disable) subtitles on Amazon Prime Video
  • Protect your phone from public USB charging stations

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