7 easy things smartphone users must do in 2023 to be safe and secure

The smartphone has become a do-it-all device that most people can’t do without. At times, making calls feels like an afterthought as online banking, booking cabs, watching movies, and listening to music — all take place on the smartphone. This is why it’s imperative that absolute strict measures are taken to ensure user privacy and security. Still, quite a few people remain lax about smartphone privacy and security. Here are a few ‘easy’ tips to follow to ensure privacy and security are maintained:

Don’t forget to log out of e-commerce shopping sites

Once a transaction is complete on a site, don’t forget to log out of your account. More so, if you are doing any transaction on a public Wi-Fi network.

Look before you charge

“Juice jacking” is a common scam that hackers use. What they do is set up fake charging stations and once you plug in your phone, they can get access to your data or install any malware on it.

Do an app ‘audit’ every now and then

Apps are there for everything and quite a few of them come with security flaws. Do not blindly give permission access to every app. You can always check which apps you have given access to and change access if you aren’t comfortable with the app.

Enable remote wiping

Losing a phone can happen to anyone and when that happens there’s that sinking feeling — “what about the data, photos and everything”. Both Android phones and iPhones give you the option of remotely wiping the phone. So even if you lose the phone, you can be assured that your data hasn’t been accessed.

Keep the smartphone updated

It is vital that users keep their smartphones updated. While it may seem an inconvenience, it helps as smartphone makers bake in security patches in OS updates which fix certain security flaws and vulnerabilities that can be exploited by bad actors.

Passwords: Stronger the better

Yes, it is a pain to remember all the passwords and their own set of criteria. But it’s something one can’t avoid — so it’s always better to choose strong passwords and not “password” or “123456” — both incidentally two of the most common passwords of 2022, as per NordPass, a cybersecurity firm. Do not reuse passwords. Do not write passwords in a doc or notes on a computer or phone. Easier said than done for many but has to be done.

Unless needed, keep Bluetooth and Wi-Fi off

Hackers can actually see what networks you have connected to before if you have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on. This allows them to connect to your phone and infest it with malware or even spy on you. It’s better to turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi unless you really want to.

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