Mobile handheld devices are now the norm and its hard to even now think of a world where we wouldn’t be using a mobile device both in our personal lives or at work. As mobile becomes ubiquitous in our every day lives, so the hackers focus their attention on what will disrupt the most. We’re already starting to see some serious breaches of security on all mobile operating systems but as Android is the most common by far it’s enjoying most of the attention of the hackers right now!!
It’s not all bad news though as, like with everything, the key is not becoming one of the statistics by making yourself less attractive to hackers, so I put together a quick top tips guide that if followed, should really make a difference in making sure your mobile devices are kept safe and secure.
Really obvious but it’s also still amazing how many people use their cats name as a password, or worse still “password”. if you use a password that’s at least 8 characters long, has numbers, letters, capitals and some non-alphanumeric characters then you massively improve the ability of the phone to not be unlocked.
A lot of websites will save your passwords for you so you don;t have to log in every time you use them. This is a real bind but if security is an issue for you then either switch this feature off or you can use Social login which is much more secure.
Android has encryption built right into it, you just need to switch it on and then all the data stored on the mobile device and the SD cards if it has any can be encrypted. This means that if your handset is stolen and accessed the thieves then still have to de-crypt your information before they can read it which is a pretty hefty job for all but the most aggressive hackers.
Android has some really great built in security features to help you lock your phone up and using them substantially improves the time you have to remove your data in the event of a loss. Us the pin or pattern lock screens that Android comes bundled with as they really do help.
On newer Android phones you can actually run multiple user accounts on them, just like Windows on your laptop. This gives you the ability to log in to the same device as a guest user or, better still as a different user so all your data is kept safe whilst someone else has access to your phone. This is especially useful for people who use their devices at work. You can have 1 account for when you’re at home and one for work which will keep all your data locked away and vice versa.
The time has really come where a good virus checker along with a decent Android malware security tool can do a lot to keep your devices clean. Check out the license you might have already with your windows PC as they often come with a few mobile device licenses thrown in for free.
Hacking isn’t just about getting control of your phone, it comes in all kinds of shades of grey too. It’s very easy to download an app that has instant access to your photos contacts, social profiles and location so be sure to check out those security permissions that pop up right before you accept the app install…you might be surprised to find what you find there!!
Only ever download and manually install an APK file if you’re sure of it’s source. Doing this completely circumnavigates the Android security and it’s still the easiest way to hack an Android phone. So head along to the Android Play store to download apps but even then you need to be super careful.
On later versions of Android, 5 and 6 on wards you have a lot more granular control over the permissions your apps can use. So now you can revoke individual permissions from individual apps rather than having to keep your eye on the permissions lists at download time. This is especially good for addressing “permission creep” where updates to apps can covertly try to get more permissions out of you without you realising.