10 Tips on How to Protect Your Privacy on Your Mobile Device

As time passes by, it seems that our smartphones are becoming more and more important in our everyday lives. We still use them for texting and calling, but the new technologies also allow us to use them as productivity tools, for one-stop payments, as fitness and health advisers, for navigation in unfamiliar areas and lots more.

Over time, our smartphones have become a centralized source of all kinds of personal information, ranging from stored passes and credit card info to private chats and images. This is why it is important to learn how to protect your privacy.

You stand to lose too much if it gets stolen from you, hacked or you simply forget it on public transportation. Mobile privacy is one of the rising concerns for not only us but mobile security experts as well.

Here are 10 important tips on how to protect your privacy on your mobile device.

1. Lock your phone

Every single smartphone has the option to enable passcode protection. Despite the availability of this feature, more than half of smartphone users are not using it.

This means that anyone who lays their hands on your phone can access everything on it, which is why it is of utmost importance to set the passcode and lock your screen.

Those few seconds that you have to devote to unlock your phone every time you have to use it are definitely worth it. There are several ways to enable this type of protection on your phone:

  • Password
  • PIN code
  • Pattern
  • Biometrics login (fingerprint)

Just make sure not to use 1111, 1234 or the year of your birth as a passcode or PIN, and everything will be all right.

2. Avoid random apps

The average user of a smartphone installs dozens of apps without even reading their privacy policy or terms and conditions. People also install apps from third parties. This is a very bad and, above all, insecure practice. By doing this you are risking your data being leaked and used by third parties.

First of all, you should only download and install apps from the official store. Then you can extend your security by checking what the app you are going to install is using in regard to your personal data (contacts, emails, texts, camera, etc).

For instance, it is advised for android users to keep Google Play Protect always enabled.

3. Maintain your patterns

Are you opening suspicious emails, clicking on fishy links and engaging in chat with an unknown person while you are using your desktop computer? No? Then there is no reason to do this while using your smartphone. This type of behavior can easily lead to getting your data and passwords stolen.

Use your smart phone as you would use your computer

Learn how to recognize this type of suspicions requests. For instance, a suspicious link will always get you to a webpage where you have to enter all kinds of your personal information in order to get free "this" or discount to "that".

You can also utilize the Spam feature on your email account to label the suspicious emails as spam in order to protect yourself from scams and threats coming through this channel.

4. Access your phone remotely

Did you know that smartphones can be accessed remotely? Yes, they can and you should be the one always in power to do so with your phone. If your phone gets lost or stolen, this practice can help you to lock, burn it or erase all data stored on it.

Some of the manufacturers already have this software ready for use, while others allow the installation of this type of software on their devices.

Do some research and find one that suits your needs. Once you have it installed and running, you can rest assured that no one can use your data should you lose your phone.

5. Perform regular updates

Your smartphone has an operating system and numerous apps installed on it. Both of these types of software contain bugs and backdoors that can be exploited by hackers. Fortunately, developers of OS and mobile apps are constantly working to improve their software and patch the holes.

Every time you get the notification from one of your apps that there is an available update, make sure to update it. If you have the option on your smartphone to enable an automatic update once it is connected to a charger, enable it and your phone software will always be kept up to date.

6. Improve security

Ever since hackers developed malware and spyware, they have been pushing them across all platforms, and mobile devices are not immune to them. These malicious apps can be used to track your location in the physical world, record your online behavior, and steal your accounts, passwords and credit card information.

You can prevent this by installing antivirus and antimalware software on your mobile device. By doing so, you will significantly improve the security of your device and ensure that you stay up to date with the latest solutions that protect your private information from prying eyes.

7. Be cautious with public Wi-Fi

Do you know that a Wi-Fi network can be set to transmit your private data, including your passwords and credit card details? When connected to the internet via vulnerable and malicious networks, your phone becomes literally open to hackers that can make use of your data.

This is why you only want to connect to trusted networks. Make sure to avoid connecting to open Wi-Fis, no matter how attractive they seem and how desperate you are.

8. Save the IMEI

IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity. Every smartphone has it and it is authentic to each piece of mobile hardware. You can find out yours by removing the battery and checking for the IMEI behind it on the phone, or by accessing your phone information through the settings option.

Make sure to write the IMEI down on a piece of paper, so that you can give it to the authorities if your phone gets stolen. The IMEI can help the police find your phone and return it back to you in no time.

9. Backup everything

You should make phone backup a regular practice. By utilizing numerous mobile backup software, you can backup literally anything on your phone, ranging from music and apps to custom settings and contacts.

Backup your smartphone

When your phone gets stolen or you experience loss of data due to malfunction or an OS update, you can use this backup to restore the data. This backup can come in especially handy if you burn your phone when it gets stolen in order to protect your privacy. With backup, you can easily restore the information to its rightful owner.

10. Use external SD card

If you really value your privacy when using a smartphone, you should definitely store the sensitive data and keep it separate from your smartphone. Memory cards are especially convenient for this. SD memory cards are quite small and they won't use that much of your pocket space.

Get your hands on an extra SD memory card that you can use to store your memos, valuable documents, pictures, videos and audio recordings on. Remove it from the phone and keep it safe. This way you won't have to worry if your phone gets stolen, hacked or it simply stops working.

The number of security risks for all of us using smartphones becomes higher each day. This is why you want to do all that is in your power to protect your mobile privacy, and these 10 tips will definitely help you do so.