Smartphones are not security devices, period. However, every smartphone comes with a few layers of protection that are somewhat able enough for online security. But, is it enough? Smartphones have become an integral part of everyday life, in fact, do you know anyone without the device?
There are over 3.8 billion smartphone users worldwide, but how many of them understand how to operate the device without getting caught on the wrong side of the internet? Or, on how to avoid falling victim to cyberattacks?
Because the rate of smartphone users is still on the rise, it is now one of the largest targets for cybercriminals. We could sit and debate about whether Android is better than iOS or vice versa, but one thing is for sure, the inbuilt security features in all smartphones are not enough.
Does a Smartphone offer any kind of security protection?
There are a few layers of security that come with most smartphones that maybe most users aren’t yet fully aware of. Once you get acquainted with them, you can then move on to better modes of smartphone security. They are:
This feature allows you to remotely wipe out any data that might be sensitive if ever your device gets stolen or misplaced. There are multiple situations where users carry their entire lives on their smartphones, be it pictures, documents, official files, and videos. You can enable this feature on some phones whereas others already come with the feature enabled.
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Mobile application management security
This feature allows the proper function and protection of user information over enterprise mobile applications on the user’s smartphones. This is important for the protection of personal and corporate data sharing.
Data protection on smartphones
Regardless of private or corporate smartphones, data protection encrypts and prevents the sharing or leakage of sensitive information to other applications running on the same smartphone device. Most users often download malicious applications on their smartphones from unknown sources which could compromise large amounts of sensitive data.
Is a smartphone’s security enough?
Technically, no it is not.
There is a lot to look into. For starters, a smartphone’s security system revolves around a number of things, in fact some don’t only depend on the phone itself but also on the mobile’s device management technology.
It controls the overall functionality of security over a smartphone, installed on company servers. For the best results and optimized mobile security, both must work hand in hand. On the other hand, you as a smartphone user need to be extra cautious of the phone you choose depending on how you use it.
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For starters, if you’re using a smartphone only for business, you could consider a BlackBerry since its security is pretty decent. But, if you use the BlackBerry for personal use it might not fit so well. So, you opt for another smartphone like an Android or iOS, but that too comes with risks. Why? Well, if you’re using it for shopping online, you’re still filling in all sorts of personal information and credit card details. That in itself is a huge risk, because if the phone’s security is basic, all your data could be compromised.
Plus, with the ever-growing population of mobile apps in the industry, the protection and security of mobile devices are an even bigger concern.
What can we do to strengthen the security on smartphones?
Some smartphones might come with strong security, but to what extent? Will it be able to protect you from malicious ads? Prevent phishing scams? Allow you safe access across geo-restricted streaming services or websites? What about protection of all data, files and more across all applications?
As mentioned above, some smartphones like a BlackBerry might be good for business users, but it’s still not safe enough. You need to add security software to your device that can protect the overall device, data, and more. Once such security software is a VPN (Virtual Private Network.)
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A VPN is designed to protect a device in every way possible. No, it’s not 100% reliable but it gets the job done when meshed with a smartphone’s already built-in security system. They say iOS smartphones come with superior security, even more than an Android, but again, there’s only so much it can do. By using an iOS VPN that is compatible, you’re taking online security and protection to another level.
Here are a few key points on how a VPN can help strengthen a smartphone’s security:
- Encrypts your device data from third-parties and prevents them from getting compromised.
- Protects users from falling victim to malware attacks, phishing scams, Trojans and more.
- Hides your history from third-parties
- Offers protection while connected to an unknown or unsecure public WiFi.
- Some VPNs come with Ad-Blockers that block annoying pop-up ads.
- It helps secure credit card and banking details when shopping online or using apps.
Other than that, a VPN has other perks that can help make a smartphone much more fun! It comes with many virtual servers you can connect to for online protection but also to help you access restricted or blocked movies, apps, websites, and more. Plus, it helps bypass ISP throttling, which is one of the main reasons why your speeds have suddenly taken a downslide.
Besides a VPN, is there anything else to help amp security on a smartphone?
Other than a VPN, there are some manual techniques, or rather practices that can help boost your smartphone’s security:
- Create strong passwords.
- Always lock your phone, no matter where you are, or who you are with. This is especially important while traveling.
- Use Two-factor authentication
- Get a secure and verified call protection app.
- Apart from creating strong passwords, never use the same passcodes for all media accounts or apps.
- Never charge your phone in a public port
- Always update your phone’s software. Old versions are susceptible to cyberattacks.
- Switch your WiFi and Bluetooth off when not in use and while traveling.
- Always read about new and safer ways to secure your smartphone and other devices. A little reading goes a long way!
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