10 Steps You Should Take Today to Protect Your Phone Privacy All posts

10 Steps You Should Take Today to Protect Your Phone Privacy

You have probably heard a lot about the big debate in the tech industry: where to draw a line between individual user privacy and national security? Particularly in the US, people tend to divide into two groups—those that argue for the right of the user to protect his personal information and those that believe that national security is more important than keeping one’s data private.

However, framing the debate in this radical manner is highly problematic. As we have learned from recent events around the world, criminals are taking advantage of the weak data encryption everywhere. It’s time we realized that strong data protection is not just about individual privacy but also about personal and national security. By hacking into one person’s phone, technologically sophisticated criminals can attack the whole company. That, in return, can be potentially threatening on a national or even international level. From shipping companies to state news agencies, the results of such attacks speak for themselves.

The bad news is that no one is 100% protected. No matter what you do to prevent someone hacking into your phone, you simply cannot keep up with all new threats and are always under some risk. Now for the good news: there are some steps you can take to protect your phone privacy as much as you can.

  • Set a lock. As we have already discussed in one of our articles, the percentage of smartphone users that don’t put any screen lock on their device is as high as 28%. Setting a lock and protecting your phone with a strong PIN code is the necessary measure everyone should take.

  • Never download any software from unauthorized markets. When PockermonGO became viral, people from the countries where it was not available started downloading it from unauthorized markets, thus exposing their mobile devices to malware. We strongly advise you against downloading software on your phone from any place you are not sure about.

  • Don’t give your number to people you don’t know. This seems like common sense but turns out it is not so common for many people. You wouldn’t just give your Social Security number, would you? You should be taking better care of your phone number that, if stolen, can give access to your internet banking or other online services.  In many cases, all someone needs is a name, address and the date of birth to convince your telecom operator they are you and steal your number forever by posting it to another operator.

  • Be extra careful with anonymous messages. Earlier we have discussed the best strategies for dealing with this kind of messages. One of the key takeaways is that you shouldn’t give any personal information and approach anonymous messages carefully.

  • When possible, don’t use your phone number online. Many services let you use your email address or zip code instead. Try to check if there’s an option to avoid giving your personal phone number and if there is, use it instead.

  • Buy a virtual phone number. Unfortunately, there are many situations in which you would need to give your number to a person you don’t know well enough or to a service you really need. That’s when having a second phone number comes handy. Check out what onoff has to offer and get yourself one.

  • Set up a multi-layer authentication for online services. To increase the level of security, make sure your phone is not the only thing someone would need to steal your identity. With that extra level of security, you can prevent anyone from accessing your bank account by simply stealing your number.

  • Backup the data you store on your mobile device in the cloud. Another way to prevent the catastrophic consequences of losing your phone is to have all of your important personal and corporate data backed somewhere so that you can recover it fast.

  • Avoid unsecured WiFi and Bluetooth connections. Never leave your Bluetooth on whenever you are not using it and avoid connecting to any unsecured WiFi network as anyone can use those connections to hack into your mobile device.

  • Use mobile security solution for your business data. There are quite many useful device management solutions that your company can use to have better control of your mobile security. 
We at onoff believe that mobile security should be the top priority of the telecommunications industry. As the number of international cyber attacks is steadily increasing and it is clear we have to take our data protection seriously, the technology will most likely try to catch up and make strong encryption possible for everyone. Until then, your task is to make sure you are doing everything in your power to protect your phone privacy and educate your employees about how they can do it.

Do you have any tips to add to this list? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!

Marta @ onoff

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