How to protect your Smartphone from Internet vulnerabilities?

Importance of safety in smartphone

Who doesn’t have a Smartphone? Will I be an alien if I say yes?? Of course!! In this era of technology and smart devices, one will be seen like a person from a different planet when he doesn’t own one. We are always attracted towards high-end flagship mobile phones. No matter if they are Android or Apple devices, we have a habit to change them, when a new phone arrives to the market. So smartphones widely used by people from a 4-year old to the 60s, getting access to one’s phone has got easy with the increased number of smartphone providers and individual security patches they come with. In this era of technology, owning a smartphone has become very easy. But, to protect one’s smartphone from the wrong hands is something that concerns most of the privacy enthusiast.

Why protect your smartphones?

Whatever the smartphone is, there are a set of privacy steps one should take to protect their data and privacy while getting connected to the Internet. I have been following these for the last 1.5 years though they may be a bit hard, but I certainly never regretted. It is up to you to care about your data. So what did I do??

How to Internet?

There are a lot of so-called rumors on the news about the data breach and manipulation in the recent past days. Should we not consider our safety when using the Internet? We connect to the Internet via the browsers we install on our phone or the ones which come preinstalled when we buy it. Should we not use our freedom to witness the perfect and secure mobile phone browsers?

How to browser? – Android:
It is not always advisable to use the browsers which come preinstalled. They are very light and come with lesser security features. One of the companies who work closely with security related companies is Mozilla. Mozilla Firefox is fast, reliable, and open-source. So anyone can access the code to check the genuineness of the software. Moreover, it respects your privacy. One other added advantage is the possibility to use Privacy add-ons in Firefox. One other suggestion is to use Bromite and DuckDuckGo browsers downloaded in your mobile device.

How to browser? – iPhone:
Similar to Android, Mozilla also support the iPhone users with their browser support for the iOS devices. Added advantage of the Apple users over the Android counterparts are the availability of the “Enhanced Tracking Protection”. This helps the users to block ads, prevent trackers from social sites and the analytic ones. Other browsers like Onion browser and DuckDuckGo also provide security to the users.

How to gain Control?

Especially when it comes to Android users, the situation is that we will need to grant permission for any application which runs on our device. While downloading we agree to grant access for our data, location, camera and also call history. Here, NetGuard helps to protect your smartphone from data leaks. It provides a way to grant and remove permission to have internet access for any application in our phone. Good news is that NetGuard doesn’t require root access.

This is a very good privilege for the smartphone user to hack his phone and use it according to his will. Even though the smartphone has internet access via Wi-Fi or mobile data, one can tweak the internet as well as other permissions.

How can back up protect your smartphone?

Data backup was never a concern a decade ago. Now with the rise of the smartphones with Terabytes of data, we definitely need to back up our data once in a while. This can be anything from WhatsApp messages to photos taken last year at the New Year’s Eve.

Conventional way to back up the phone data to an external hard disk or a computer is still possible. Some privacy freaks prefer their WhatsApp messages backed up locally on their smartphones and are transferred to these local drives periodically. Now only with the messages, but some techies advice storing the data on a local hard disk for a better control over our data.

Backing up your data can also happen over secure cloud storage. The need to verify the soundness of the security is more, as almost every memory of yours are being transferred to a virtual online storage. For your local and distant server preferences, Nextcloud gives flexibility to store all your data more securely in the servers you trust. It has a wide variety of service providers to choose from and it is an open source client-server software. One can also try Keybase who provides 250 GB of online storage space.

How to Social Media?

Daily usage of mobile devices among the masses has made their social media more reachable and addictive. The unending(infinite) timelines used by Social media plays a very crucial role in keeping the people tied to their phones. Being said that Social media has become the most used application during our daily life, how reliable and secure are they? We are involved in various social media application ranging from twitter to TikTok. We also spend most of our time in texting applications like WhatsApp.

In Social Media like Facebook and Instagram, the privacy settings needs to be tweaked. The initial step is to enable two-step authentication to your account. So every login to your account is now secured, well done! I don’t think giving access to these applications are necessary. It is always better revoke your location access in the settings. This is important because there are features like photo map, which can still give out photos without your knowledge.

Keep your privacy settings intact. On Facebook and also on Instagram, your privacy is normally set to public. It is better if you can navigate to your setting and change the privacy. On Facebook, you can also tweak your privacy settings not only for your profile but also for search engine searches, tagging options and even more.

How to unlock?

I agree, we are in one of the most sophisticated centuries ever. I also agree that it can make us more lazy. But leaving our phones unlocked(I meant the swipe unlocks) can be one of your worst nightmares. Smartphones carry almost every piece of information that belong to us ranging from photos to credit cards info. Yes, you got it bro!

It is always better to use a screen lock to protect the access to your smartphone. Be it android or iPhone, face locks or finger print locks or even in the worst case a pin can save your day. This adds in the first layer of security to any smartphone and the user data it holds.

How to outsmart?

Can we find a way to not lose data and be more secure? There is not a single answer to this question. Gaining one’s privacy is not a single day act.

Privacy is more like a daily habit which should be followed and improved everyday.

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There may be times when your previous security measure is compromised. One should work on it on a regular basis to improve the shield he/she can put in front of this virtual and dangerous Internet world. The above-stated methods are to be treated as a basic measure. May be following this, one can opt for a more secure email like ProtonMail or Tutanota. ProtonMail is a bit easier than the latter. VPNs and the browser privacy tweaks are to be mastered for even more secure Internet usage. Unless your protect your smartphone, you will be giving data to the unknown person who is in the other end of the world. Wake up my friend.

Happy Surfing!!

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