Privacy is fiction, some say. In a world of "I accept the terms and conditions" buttons, where no one actually bothers reading the terms, it is no surprise to find apps pulling lots of information, or even tracking us live, without us even knowing about it.
When you consider data protection, you can only trust yourself. But, who has time to read terms and legal stuff?
Well, reading every part of the terms is NOT going to be a recommendation on this list. But there's still much you can do to protect phone data as much as you can. Let's go over some measuring steps to prevent apps from breaching your privacy and limiting their access to your data.
Here are some suggestions that you should consider while setting up data protection:
Researches show that most people do not apply any type of pin or password for data protection. This is a shocking number especially nowadays. Without it, anyone can have unattended access to all your private pictures and files. Even if you live alone, you should set it up. Think about a worst-case scenario of your phone getting lost or stolen. It will be bad enough, no need to add worries about your private information and pictures to the mix.
In every phone, there are several ways to apply security. If you aren't a numbers person, skip the pin or password, you can always go for a thumbprint, pattern, or face recognition system.
Another point to consider: If your job requires wearing gloves, a fingerprint lock might not be the most convenient. If you tend to get lots of small cuts or bruises, you'll discover the phone is locked even for you!
Fingerprint, facial recognition, pass, either way, we urge you to opt for this easy first step to protect your phone data.
Every time you carry this mini-computer in your hands, you carry all the critical information, private pictures, notes, texts, and videos with it. Plus, most likely, the passwords you use online, including to your email, bank, and social media...
When you think about it, we should all be busy encrypting our phones every single day. Luckily, there are apps for that, so no one can reach your critical information and use it against you. Encrypting your files means even if someone would reach those prom pictures one day, they won't be able to open them. Phew. No pictures with braces will suddenly go online.
Here you can find the best encrypting apps for 2021.
With every new version of the operating system, a few more security features are added. This is one of the reasons it is essential to keep your phone up to date. Stay ahead of all the weak points a hacker might use to attack.
Think of updating your OS as fueling your phone. The more often you do it when needed, the further it will go. You can even set the automatic update schedule and let it do the protection of your phone data while you sleep.
Knowing many of us do not bother to actually read the terms and conditions while signing an app, Apple and Android require apps to ask for permission to access phone features or information. It's easy to overlook those requests and blindly approve them with the excitement of signing up with a new app. For example, when downloading a phone editing app and it asks to access phone records, camera and gallery, people blindly press the "Allow All" option.
While some apps will not let you choose the level of permissions, some will let you control what you allow, so in the above case you could allow camera and images access, but not your phone contacts.
It is important to always ask yourself: why do they need it? Can I use the app without this feature and still get what I need? IF the answer is yes, do not allow this permission, or use the "only this time" option if you're using Android.
Apps on Apple or Google Play Store must be first vetted and approved to ensure a certain level of protection. This is Apple and Google's way to assure you no danger of malware will be affecting your phone. On the other hand, installing an app through any external link or APK file may damage your phone's privacy. In simple English: Download apps only from AppStore/GooglePlay, not from a website or from a file.
New malware is emerging in the dark corners of the web every day, and accessing someone's phone is almost an easy task. One of the easiest things you can do to protect your phone or tablet is to install a security firewall to keep cybercriminals away.
From Norton and Kaspersky to lesser-known makers, an antivirus app will do the regular clean-up for you. Here's the list of best antivirus apps of 2021
It's one thing to take measures and protect your photos and files from prying eyes, how come it is so different when it comes to sharing voluntarily online? Social media is this gigantic motor running behind the scenes, with millions of photos and stories being shared every hour.
It is wise to limit the amount of information you share publicly. The less data you share, the fewer options you give an outsider to get your data. If you have kids, you should think about sharing information about them and their school too.
Just in case of any issues with your phone, tablet, or data - a backup might come in handy. Most phones allow you to set an automated backup process to back up your data every day, every other day, or every week. You can read more about data backup here.
If you will connect your phone with public WIFI, try doing it while VPN turned on. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and basically means your device is wearing a mask to prevent other people on the network from lurking in your data.
With the help of a VPN, you can also access a wider variety of content on the web while remaining anonymous. The only thing you need to consider is to find a good and reliable VPN since a bad one may result in some critical issues.
Once a month, stay-in-the-know kind of relationship.