Smartphones are now a major part of our lives—whether you use one to keep in touch with your family or rely on it for work. But as smartphone use becomes more prevalent, so do the threats that come with it.
Despite cybersecurity news often being tied to large companies, attacks are actually more likely to start with someone’s smartphone. True enough, an IBM study reveals that users are three times more likely to respond to a phishing attack on a phone than any other device.
On top of this, HP’s article on cybersecurity cites the rise of new technology like 5G, which is providing a gateway to more complicated threats we have yet to fully grasp. Although it’s certainly changing the game for connectivity, the possibilities go both ways. As consumers and avid smartphone users, it’s important to be proactive in staying protected.
If you’re looking to enhance your phone’s security, here are five apps that can help:
Norton Mobile Security
It isn’t just your laptop or computer that requires an anti-virus defense—your phone needs one too. After all, it only takes one malicious file to put your entire device at risk. For this, Norton’s Security and Antivirus is the top pick for protecting your phones from cyberattacks. Every time it cleans your phone, it goes through every folder and file that regular antivirus apps can’t reach. The app itself is free, but when you upgrade to its paid version, you can unlock a feature that scans every app in the Play or App store for potential risks.
Thinking of a “safe” password is tough, and most people fall back on typical information like birthdays or family members’ names for easy recall. Unsurprisingly, however, the safest passwords are those that even you couldn’t come up with. LastPass can randomly generate passwords for you, and store them in their encrypted digital vault. Plus, it lets you sync your passwords across all devices, not just your phones.
Even when you don’t think you’re being tracked online (this includes when you’re in “incognito”)—you are. Although it may not be tracked physically, your internet service provider (ISP) sees everything that you do. Fortune reports that many ISPs compile “anonymous” browsing logs and sell them to ad companies, which should be a cause for concern for everyone. This is why it’s good practice to get a virtual personal network (VPN) to encrypt your browsing logs. Using ExpressVPN is ideal, especially for those who are new to using VPNs. All you have to do is turn it on. No coding knowledge needed, no tech jargon to understand.
Sometimes, a phone lock isn’t enough to protect your data. After all, you’ve got a ton of sensitive information in there—from personal messages and photos, to your online banking and more. For this reason, apps like Hexlock can add an extra layer of protection. Hexlock allows you to lock your apps through fingerprints, with a PIN and pattern as a backup. Plus, in case of multiple failed attempts, the app captures the photos of the intruder. This way, you can report them to the necessary authorities, should there be a need.
Find My Device & Find My
In case your phone gets stolen, it helps to have an app to track it down, and even lock it to safeguard your files. This is exactly what Find My Device (for Android) and Find My (for iPhone and iPad) does for your mobile devices. Though some phones already come built in with such features, it’s one measure you shouldn’t overlook. Plus, both apps include a remote factory reset option, just in case your device gets permanently out of reach and you don’t want your data to fall into the wrong hands.
Every mobile device will have pre-installed security to help it fend off most attacks. But sometimes, even those aren’t enough. Don’t wait for your device to get compromised before you put any security efforts into motion.
This is a contributed post by Richard Grant