10 Common Smartphone Mistakes That Expose You To Security Risks

Smartphones have unarguably evolved into an irreplaceable part of our daily lives . Think of  how many times do you use your phone  in a day? Quite a lot times I guess . With such an important device that's a vital part of our daily lives, I must say I'm quite shocked and surprised by the mistakes and errors people make on smartphones and unnecessarily expose themselves to security risks.

Here's a quick list of the most common mistakes people make

1.Not Locking Your Phone

It may seem like stress to type in your screen lock password or draw your unlock pattern any time you want to use your phone but this is one  the easiest ways to prevent unauthorized access and/or use of your phone.

Hackers can crack any screen lock security with some given time, but this step gives you  a basic form of first level security that will prevent most people from accessing your phone.

The best type of security code for smartphones are  PINs or  more preferably passwords .

Screen patterns  can easily be hacked. Set your
phone to lock the screen after one minute of being idle.

2.Not Turning On The AntiTheft Feature On Your Phone On

Not all smartphones come with this but with this option, the phone has a second layer of security. I once sold a Tecno H3 to one of my friends, I forgot that I set the AntiTheft feature on. Even after he flashed the phone, the AntiTheft feature was still in place. He couldn't use the phone until I unlocked it. One good thing about the anti theft feature is that once your SIM is removed, the app will anonymously send an SMS with the next sim card that's slotted in the phone to the number that you selected as security numbers.

Once your phone gets stolen, you've got nothing to worry about. Except of course your pictures..

3.Joining Public Wi-Fi Networks

Some people are fond of doing this, joining any Wi-Fi network they see forgetting that this is also a major security risk. Information and data transmitted over public Wi-Fi networks are visible to anybody on the network if they know how to view it.

Hackers can easily steal your details  and remotely access your smartphone. If you have to connect to a public Wi-Fi network, make sure you're using a VPN like Droid VPN or TUNNEL BEAR VPN . VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and is a method to connect to websites securely . Otherwise, use your mobile data network.

4.Not Having An Antivirus Installed

Some people will go to great lengths to make sure they have the latest and most up-to-date antivirus for their PC but the protection for their smartphone is Zero .  85% of  most smartphones do not have security or Antivirus apps pre-installed  . Only a number of smartphone users  install antivirus and other security software.

I recommend  Bitdefender , AVG and Avast to secure your Android phone .

By installing an antivirus on your smartphone, you also avoid transferring a virus to your computer via USB which is a common problem these days.

Some damaged memory cards may have the shortcut virus that replicates itself many times in a PC as shortcuts to programs but this can be fixed with Smadav PC Antivirus.

5.Forgetting or Refusing To Install  Updates

Most Smartphone manufacturers use software updates to improve functionality and to fix security gaps. In general, you should accept updates to your phone’s operating system as soon as you are notified. If you don't have enough data try subscribing and updating your phone.

The same goes with applications on your phone. Make it a habit to regularly update the software running on your smartphone.

6.Not Verifying Your Apps Before Installing
Only few people verify applications before they download and install them. By verification , I mean  carrying out some basic research before installing an app.

Many smartphone users download and install applications that come packaged with malware that gives a remote hacker root access.

Most recently users have been hit with the Quadrooter and Gooligan Malwares.

Quadrooter constantly shows pop-up ads and installs apps without permission. All this can be avoided.

I think where the problem lies is mainly with Android phones because of  the relaxed rules required to host an app in the Play Store. iPhone users are safer due to Apple’s closed wall policy.

7.Clicking On Any Link You See
It's generally more difficult to spot a fake login page on a smartphone than on a computer. Furthermore, shortened URLs make it extremely difficult to detect illegitimate addresses. The best way to stay secure is to avoid clicking on suspicious links sent via SMS or instant messaging apps.

8.Jailbreaking or Rooting
I know many  hard-core rooters and jailbreakers pe will probably bash me for this one. However, the fact remains  that non-rooted Android devices and non-jailbroken iPhones have a certain level of security that limits the amount of access a user has to vital parts of the phone’s operating system. Jailbreaking or rooting gives you access to hidden system settings that allows you to do much more with your phone.

Everything comes with a price and the price you pay for that is greater security risk.

I'm not saying you should avoid rooting your phone. All I am saying is that if you choose to do that, make sure you know what you are doing.

9.Not Switching Off Bluetooth

You've probably not heard of the terms bluejacking , bluebugging or bluesnarfing. These are  situations where  hackers can gain access to your phone using your Bluetooth connection.

Using this method, the hacker only needs to be at just about 30 feet away from you and you’ll never  ever know what just hit you. Within a matter of seconds, a Bluesnarfer can steal details such as confidential information and even login data to various sites. So, unless you are transferring or receiving a file,  for God's sake switch off your Bluetooth connection.

10.Storing Sensitive Data On Your Phone
I don't  understood  people  store ATM card PINs, bank online passwords, sensitive images/videos and other such sensitive data on their phones. If your phone is stolen, it wouldn’t take a geek to know  that a four digit number stored as a phone contact is a PIN to one of your accounts. With more analysis , a clever crook can mess up your life.

Make sure you check yourself and make sure you're not doing any of these things to save yourself from security risks.

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I'm a Computer Science Student of The University of Port Harcourt and a Chelsea Fan. I love RnB and A little Trap Music. Tech flows in my veins. I love to have fun with friends and I read a lot. 

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