In today’s digital age, every person’s life revolves around one electronic device, the cell phone. Have you ever wondered how secure your phone is? If you want to know more about securing your phone this is the article for you.
Mobile has become an inseparable part of human life. And because of that mobile vulnerability is also at an all-time high. Data stored in the cell phone might be worth more than the cell phone itself. And that is the reason why cybercrime has picked up recently. Your digital footprints can reveal your personal details. And if this detail falls into the wrong hands it can compromise your identity in the virtual world.
Mobile phones have reduced the difference between the real and the virtual worlds. And that is why securing your virtual identity is more important as it affects your real-world image. Your mobile can also handle financial transactions nowadays. That way mobile security becomes one of the most important concerns.
Here in this article, I will provide you some tools and tips related to how to secure your device.
Secure your Google Account
There are around 4.39 billion users of the internet in this world. From which 4 billion have Google Account.
Google usage statistic shows that there are billion active users for Google Photos.
Youtube has over 1.9 billion active users. Gmail has more than 1.5 billion active users.
There are more than 1.5 billion registered android devices worldwide.
Looking at the numbers above we can see the reach of Google. Lots of websites provide the ‘Sign in using the Google’ option. In return, google provides them your basic information. Though not your credentials but basic details based on Google’s privacy policies.
The basic way to secure your google account is to enable 2 step Verification.
Enabling it will provide you an extra layer of security. It asks for two different codes from two different sources. First is your regular google account password which you will enter to sign in. After that one code which is OTP (One Time Password) will be sent to your default registered number via SMS or call.
Do not install apps from untrustworthy sources
If possible try to avoid downloading apps from random sites.
Download Apps only from the Google Play Store as it has Google Play Protect.
Google Play Protect is the most used mobile threat protection service in the world. Backed by Google’s machine learning, it’s always adapting and improving. Every day, Google Play Protect scans all the apps on Android phones and prevents harmful apps.
It is Google’s built-in malware protection for Android devices.
Every app and developer is vetted before their apps are available on the google play store.
Maintain your App permissions
Android apps can never access your personal data on the phone unless you give them permission to do so. But most of the person never even look at the permissions they are allowing to an app after installing it.
To check the permissions you have provided to different apps do the following. Open the privacy sections in the phone settings and then open Permission management.
Always try to provide only those permission to an app that is mandatory. Like if Calculator or Music app asks for your location access it is meaningless. So always check before allowing any permissions.
Use Virtual Private Network
Everyone loves coffee from the cafe when the wi-fi is free there. Who says no to free wi-fi nowadays.
But one thing here I would suggest don’t join the public Wi-fi without VPNs.
A VPN connection encrypts your online activities to keep you safe from eavesdroppers.
There are two ways to use VPN for android users. First is the default VPN in android devices. The second is by downloading any VPN application. There are lots of VPN apps available on the Play Store.
Some suggestions for VPNs are TorGuard, NordVPN, and Private Internet access.
One thing to keep in mind is that, don’t use free VPN apps if possible. None of them work worth a darn, they only help you to give different location IPs. And even that is traceable.
Always have antivirus in the device
Google Play Protect helps you to keep away from malware. But It is also suggested that to keep another antivirus software on the device.
Suggestions are McAfee or Avast Mobile Security or Quickheal. They provide excellent services to your device. They don’t only secure you from virus attacks they help you with the other security features too.
Norton Mobile Security is also suggested, as it has also some amazing features. It has features like app advisor, Wifi security, web protection, and device security.
Use Device Encryption in Android
On-device encryption is another default Android Security feature.
Other than that now some devices provide app-level encryption as well. Using which you can secure personal apps. Like you can provide encryption to your social media apps.
To provide encryption go to settings > security/ privacy > device or app encryption.
Some good practices to be secure
- Turn off your Bluetooth, Wi-fi and mobile data when not in use
- To maintain passwords use secure Password management apps
- If you don’t use any apps for a long time, uninstall them.
- Keep Find My Device turned on.
Tools to be secure in the network
Users use phones for scrolling over social media or mailing or chatting or browsing. So it is better to use secure apps for such services.
Here are some apps recommended to use for those services
We can use tor browser to hide our digital footprints. Tor browser is an anonymity system designed to protect the privacy of its users.
The connection circuit consists of three nodes entry node, middle node, and exit node. Encryption is applied at nodes. And because of that one node does not know from where the request is coming or where the response is going.
For most countries using Tor Browser is legal. For some countries, somehow tor is illegal. China is preventing tor traffic using its great firewall. Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are trying to prevent users from using tor.
We can see why some countries try to prevent users from using tor because it provides anonymity. In this age of Information, tor provides actual freedom to communicate hidden information.
Though some people might say that tor is the tool for criminals to access the dark web but it is not the whole truth. Of course, tor provides you anonymity, but what to do with it is in the users’ hands. Tor is a tool for the privacy of users.
Signal Messenger is a secure messaging application that uses end-to-end mobile encryption for messages.
The messages are end-to-end encrypted means not even the company that owns the Signal can read your message.
WhatsApp recently declared that it will share data with its parent company Facebook. And after that Elon musk tweeted “Use Signal”.
After that Signal app’s popularity surged. In five days downloads increased 4200%. It became favorites of journalists, government officials, cybersecurity experts.
ProtonMail – Secure Mailing System
ProtonMail is far more secure than Gmail and other mailing systems. It provides end-to-end encryption to its users.
That means the same as the signal app, the company cannot see your mail, only the recipient can decrypt the mail.
Unlike others, there is no logging or tracking of any type of personal information.
In the conclusion, we can control cybercrime. Cybercrime has surged because of the negligence of small security steps. Above mentioned steps are not that much hard. The only thing users need to do is practice the habits which are more secure. Rather than focusing on popularity think about the security of the application. This small change in mindset can reduce the huge amount of cybercrime happening.