How to Strengthen Privacy and Security on Your Mobile Phone | Hacker Noon

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Hacked!!!! Don’t panic. I will teach you about the security loopholes in your android device and help you protect your device from privacy invasions and security breaches.

From “Don’t forget your keys ” to “ Don’t forget your phone”, technology has evolved at a lightning speed that the key to our life is now lying in open pockets.

An average person spends more than 5 hours a day on their phone and most people worldwide start their day with their cellphone rather than a toothbrush.

When we get a new house the first thing we check is if the door and its locks are properly working we would do anything to secure our personal space but do we have the same concern when we use our mobile phones. It’s high time that we understand our mobile phone is a superkey that can open any door to our life be it virtual or physical.

What can you do to secure your mobile phones?

The tremendous rise in mobile device usage has increased the number of malware rapidly. The time you surf the internet or the time you are using a service over the internet. You may think of yourself as the customer but actually, you are the ones getting sold.

Be cautious of App Permissions

Recent studies have often found that over 1000 android apps are stealing our data like location, passwords, and other personal ones.

NEVER GIVE UNNECESSARY APP PERMISSIONS.

For example, consider the situation where you have downloaded a shopping app. If it’s asking for permissions like storage, contacts, and microphone; Think about this why does a shopping app need access to your storage, with that permission, it can get access to anything that’s on your memory, and if it is asking for a microphone it can listen to your audio conversations or calls.

A legitimate app asks permission only based on its functions.

To manage app permissions

Go to settings>apps> select an app> permissions

Mandatory password rules:

Always use a long password of a minimum of 8 characters. It should be a mix of uppercase, lowercase characters, numbers, symbols. Keep a habit of changing your password every 60 days. Never repeat the same password for multiple accounts.

Some sites may make these rules mandatory and some may ignore it. Have you ever thought about why we need to stick to the above 4 rules? This is the number one rule to protect your accounts against BruteForce password attacks.

What is a BruteForce attack?

In a BruteForce attack, the attacker tries different combinations of characters and symbols until it matches with your password. Now that we have computers with greater computational power BruteForce attack can be done easily with any of the plain passwords.

haveibeenpwned.com is a website that lets you check if our email-id or password appears to be stolen anywhere on the internet.

howsecureismypassword.net -This website will inform you how long it might take a hacker to crack your chosen password

LESS IS MORE: Uninstall if there are any unused apps.

Because in reality think of the apps as the windows to your house. The lesser they are the more secure you are.

Avoid apps from third-party sites:

Download your apps only from the Google Play store or the Apple play store.

Always set up Multifactor authentication:

The first factor in authentication is Something you know (passwords and pin). If some attacker got access to your password and tries to access your account, they will ask for a second factor which is something you have(token, OTP, authenticator).

This token is set with time constraints that it changes every minute so even if the attacker got hold of your password then they have to have access to your phone. And not only the access to the phone but they actually have to have the PIN from the authenticator app or the token you received. This is why we say Hackers hate two-factor authentication

Ensure that you use a safe and secure browser instead of chrome because browser security really matters

The browser knows so much about us than any other person in our life. It knows the things you search for, the passwords you put in, your medical history, the people you chat with, what you are, and where you are. when it comes to browser security choose a browser that focuses on both privacy and security.

  • check the privacy of your browser with panopticlick.
  • Always browse websites with https, not HTTP

Mozilla Firefox and Brave are known for offering adequate levels of privacy and security. The difference is that in firefox we have to manually add plugins like Noscripts and ghostery for ensuring privacy and security but in brave, they have a built-in tracker blocker, ad blocker, and browser fingerprinting blocker.

Use a VPN when you are using public wifi :

 An open public wifi hotspot is like the hermitage of all hackers and snoopers as the open network does not have any security standard practices. With the use of a basic sniffing tool, an attacker can steal all the data like passwords you used for login especially social websites, bank account, email, etc.

A VPN can send your network traffic through a secure encrypted tunnel making it difficult for others who are trying you intercept your data. VPN comes with several cool features like giving access to region-restricted content, keeps your browsing private from ISP’S and encrypts the network traffic over the internet. It offers both privacy and security.

Be skeptical about links.

Never trust any links blindly. Always hover your mouse over any link that you receive in email or social media website to see if it’s taking you to the right page. Attackers can use social engineering tactics to steal your data.

It can reveal the exact URL of any shortened links and also lets you know if the site is classified as a malicious one or not.

Download anti-malware like Malwarebytes for your mobile device.

If you do happen to download a malicious app or open a malicious attachment, mobile anti-malware protection can prevent the infection.

Enable Google Play Protect ( settings>security>google play protect) which is google’s built-in malware protection for android. Click here to learn more

Boot your device to safe mode (switch off, then press power button + volume down ) if u find any sort of performance issues like frequent crashing of apps, annoying popup ads on your screen, and unusual drop in speed and performance as these can be the signs of malware infections.

Malware is a malicious software that can steal sensitive data, take control of your device, and damage your system. If your phone is infected by a recently installed app, the safe mode allows you to test to see if the app that you just installed has caused an issue on your phone.

It’s never too late to take control of your data. It’s your data, your life, and your responsibility. 

Lead Photo by Biljana Jovanovic on pixabay

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