If you haven’t been taking data privacy seriously, you should. There are more data breaches every year and it always exceeds the year before. In 2020, there were at least over 3000 confirmed cases of data breaches.
Since the smartphone has become ubiquitous now, it is important to practice data hygiene and safety even when using your phone.
Here are 9 tips that you should know:
Tip 1: Never click on suspicious emails
If you do not recognize the sender or if the sender and email address do not match, refrain from opening the link. That email could contain malware or worse, a virus. But you may open an email accidentally and download a virus onto your system. First things first, you may ask yourself how do i remove viruses from my iphone? It is actually pretty simple. Delete any new apps that you deem suspicious and if that does not work, restore your phone to factory settings.
Tip 2: Back up your data
In case some malware or virus makes its way onto your system, you would have to wipe out your phone to get rid of it if you cannot diagnose the source. Alternatively, the malware or virus could cause data loss. In both these cases, one thing is clear. Your data needs to be backed up safely so that you can restore it and continue using your phone.
You can use your Mac and save your data to an external drive or use iCloud to sync all your files to the cloud. There are other cloud storage services that you can give a try but iCloud is recommended since it syncs across all your Apple devices.
Again, you could also use free software that backs up your data to the cloud but it is important to be wary of anything that is free since your data could potentially be at risk.
Tip 3: Do not click on ads
While surfing the internet, you may come across some clickbait ads. Make it a point to never open them on your phone. These typically contain trackers that can then monitor your activity on the web.
Tip 4: Use antivirus software
Tip 5: Make sure your OS is updated
Your smartphone should be running on the latest software. This is not only important to improve performance related issues but also from a cybersecurity and privacy standpoint. For instance, the iOS 14 update has made it very easy for users to ask apps not to track them across the web. Other updates include security patches that are important to protect your smartphone from known threats.
Tip 6: Use a VPN
If you want to take it a notch further, think about using a VPN for your phone as well. This anonymizes your data and gives you a new IP address that your internet service provider cannot track. This also prevents apps from being able to track your activity across the web.
Tip 7: Use the right browser
If you are using an iPhone, consider using Safari. Safari has had some recent updates with Big Sur introducing a ton of privacy and security features. On Android, you can choose between Firefox and Chrome. While Chrome has some privacy issues, it is a good browser from a security standpoint. Firefox is slower but has great security features.
Tip 8: Don’t use the same password
If you have the habit of using simple passwords or repeating the same password for multiple apps, you should seriously reconsider this. If one site experiences a data breach, and you have been using the same password for others, it becomes very easy for a hacker to access your data on other websites. On the other hand, simple passwords are very easy to hack, making your data vulnerable.
Use inbuilt features like Keychain to store and generate strong passwords. You can also use a password manager that is browser based that allows you to sync all your passwords to one account. Some password managers also offer the ability to check whether your data has been breached or sold on the dark web.
Tip 9: Don’t download suspicious files
If you view an attachment in your browser, make sure you trust the source before downloading it. On Gmail, your attachments are automatically scanned for viruses but only up to a certain file size.
The same goes for apps. If you aren’t sure of the origin, it is best to avoid downloading it. You do not have to worry too much about this if you are an iPhone user since Apple thoroughly vets all the apps that make it to the App Store.
Be cautious when you are connected to the internet and keep an eye out for suspicious apps or files that appear on your phone. Always backup your data in case you have to wipe your phone and invest in antivirus software.