15 Tips For Keeping Your Smartphones Safe

How safe is your smartphone? Is it infected with mobile malware? Smartphones are becoming smarter and more multi-faceted, what with bank transactions, payments, stored credits and fast data streaming. It’s not surprising, therefore, that phones will become more of a target for malicious intent. Follow these 15 tips to keep your smartphone safe in every possible way.


15 Tips For Keeping Your Smartphones Safe

1. Get Hold of Tracking Software

Download Apple’s Find My iPhone service if you own an iPhone or a suitable Mobile Recovery app from your service provider. This will help you locate your phone in case its stolen. Certain tracking services allow you to remove erase phone data, such as Find My iPhone.

2. Check Out Application User Ratings And Permissions

Download applications from the net only after studying user ratings and comments. If possible, chat with users and get a first hand opinion of application performance and safety. If an application requests permission such as calendar accessing, or asks to message your contacts with offers, don’t download it.

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3. Get a Screen Guard

Buy yourself a screen guard; you can buy a good one for about 50 USD. These thin plastic films ensure your screen doesn’t get scratched when you dump your phone along with your keys, makeup case or the contents of your glove compartment. Alternatively, get your phone laminated.

4. Don’t Forget To Install Antivirus

Get a good antivirus package from a reputable security company. The mobile antivirus application will check the permissions set for mobile apps to see if an app is doing what it’s meant to do. If any discrepancy is noticed, the antivirus package will inform you.

5. Be Aware and Stay Alert

If you’re performing bank transactions through your phone, be sure to check all credit and debit card statements. Your transactions and any data you transmit could be intercepted, including any text messages you send. Any small lapse in judgment can prove costly in the long run.

6. Buy Apps Only From Reputable Stores

Check out the reputation of mobile app developers and get as much feedback as possible before you invest. If you’re downloading from third-party sites, always check the URL first. Does the URL read well, or does it sound like a lot of gibberish? Reputable developers will take care of their URL as they care about search engine ratings.

7. Don’t Share Anything Sensitive Over Phone

The bad guys are always sniffing just around the corner. Don’t share your address, date of birth, home phone numbers, bank account numbers and other sensitive info over phone.

8. Dispose Your Phones Safely

When it’s time to upgrade your phone, don’t throw your old phone away as is. Follow the instructions in your phone’s manual to delete all your content, especially your contacts, personal information, call history, web search history and saved media content.

9. Keep the Phone In Its Pouch

The more your smartphone is exposed to abrasive objects such as pens, keys, coins, combs and so on. You’ll not only scratch your expensive phone’s screen, but you will damage the keyboard and your phone’s delicate circuits. To avoid all this, keep your phone in its original pouch when not in use, or invest in a soft, protective cover for it.

10. Avoid Exposure To Sunlight, Moisture And Chemicals

Don’t leave it on the dashboard of your car on a hot summer’s day; the heat can bake the delicate circuitry. Keep your phone in the slot next to your gear shift. Don’t hold your phone in your bare hands if you’re sweating. If your phone comes in contact with water, remove all detachments and dry the phone using a hair dryer.

11. Dust Your Phone Regularly

Regularly clean your phone’s batteries, covers and keyboard with a paint brush or a delicate cloth. Laminate your phone so dust won’t get into the ports and in between the keys.

12. Don’t Use 100% Of Storage Space

Don’t download more applications than your phone can safely hold while still executing required software. Use up to 75% of the storage space and do regular housekeeping to ensure unnecessary stuff is removed.

13. Password Protect Your Phone

Set a password for your phone and an auto-lock time of 2 or 3 minutes. This way, even if someone does pick up your phone, they won’t be able to access important information on your phone.

14. Back Up Data

Back up everything you have on your phone on to a flash drive. You need to schedule this task as many times as required in a month, depending on the sensitivity and volume of data you store on your phone.

15. Always Type In Browser Passwords

When you use social media and other accounts on your mobile’s browser, type in the passwords each time. This is to ensure a thief does not get access to your sensitive data if they manage to unlock your phone.

PG

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11 Comments

  1. Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    If you’re using an Iphone one tip is to never, ever go anywhere near water. I don’t mean obvious stuff like ‘don’t text in the bath’, I mean don’t even go near moisture. Even a small amount of condensation will trip something inside the phone and mark it as water damaged, invalidating your warranty even if moisture had nothing to do with the phone’s problem.

  2. chetan
    Posted May 5, 2012 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    I install AVG in My acer XCD35 to protect it from virus because its free. Thanks fr your tips.

  3. mazcorns
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    thanks for useful tips. . for favorite smartphone had to get extra care. . will try tips from you..

  4. Posted March 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Having a smartphone always carries a risk to be tracked away so there is always a need to keep them safe and making the use of these tips will definitely help in this area!
    Thanks a lot for these tips…

  5. Posted February 7, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Awesome tips! I hear so many stories of people breaking screens or not caring for their phones after a while. Its so important to look after our belongings continuously!

  6. Posted January 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Really great tips here! My phone definitely needs some attention in this area!

    • Posted January 19, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Hi Lisa, I think many phones could use attention when it comes to keeping it safe, including mine.

  7. Posted January 18, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    The tracking service is great but i’m not too sure if they are available for all smartphones.

    • Posted January 18, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      I believe there are tracking services available for just about any phone. I had installed such a service, but found that it was eating up my battery. I’m sure there was more to the battery draining than that, so I’ll probably look more into a tracking service.

  8. Posted January 18, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Hey Dean,

    I have used smartphone for a long time, but have not any idea if it was dangerous to make transaction through it.

    What I have done so far is, checking my paypal account LOL, to shop online or anything that requires CC or related to my account, I prefer a bigger screen since I have often done mistakes on Facebook clicking “Like” button because of the smaller icon on my iPhone LOL..

    Because of this unpleasant experience, I prefer do pay things with my computer then.

    By the way, I seriously don’t know if I really need an ativirus for my phone, but after reading your post, I might think about it.

    Kimi

    • Posted January 18, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      I have an antivirus installed on my phone, and I don’t even realize it is running. It scans applications when I install them, but other than that it stays in the background. I don’t do many financial transactions with my phone, much like you, as I still prefer to do those transactions on a computer.

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