This is a guest article by Miles Young.
When using your smartphone, security is probably the last thing on your mind. After all, how many times have your friends gotten their phones hacked? The truth is, public Wi-Fi, apps and other external forces might make your device vulnerable to malicious code and hackers. Fortunately, there are some ways to protect yourself and stay secure when using your smartphone.
Use Wi-Fi Carefully
Sharing personal data on any wireless network always has its caveats and can sometimes be downright dangerous. While this is common knowledge when it comes to your laptop or your tablet, many people do not realize that their smart phone is just as vulnerable to hackers in this kind of situation. One way you can protect yourself is to limit which wifi connections are open to you. The next time you need to access Wi-Fi at an airport or coffee shop, be sure to stay alert as to which networks you’re connected to by default. You never know who could be lurking those networks.
Be Careful About Apps
Most of the apps you can download are safe. You pick up an app for a small price, it does its job and you’re happy. However, some unscrupulous app designers are either closet hackers or working with them to use apps to covertly install viruses on your phone. You can largely dodge this possibility by only dealing with reputable and highly rated app developers. Also in many touch screen Droid devices, malicious Trojans like RuFraud lurk in popular apps like Angry Birds in order to infiltrate your phone. Be sure to always read the comments and check the publisher before downloading any app to your device.
Don’t Trust Texts From Your Carrier
As a general rule, cell phone carriers don’t text you except to share information about your account. Scam artists and hackers, however, frequently use bogus texts to get access to your phone. If you receive a text from someone claiming to be from your cell carrier who asks you to change your settings, call your provider immediately. Most of the time, you will end up dodging an attempt to put malware on your phone.
Avoid Shady Links
If you’re big on Twitter or Facebook, then chances are that either you or someone you know has had their account compromised. This often happens as a result of phishing scams from malicious spammers. Avoid opening mysterious bit.ly links sent to you in private messages, even if it’s from someone you know. The same goes for your phone. Depending on the platform you use, clicking a malicious link could result in your personal data or account information falling into the wrong hands. If you think you’ve been the subject to an account hack, change your passwords immediately!
Take these simple precautions and you will be able to keep your information stay safe from hackers and identity thieves.