The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but your mobile phone is the window to your whole damn life. If an unscrupulous person manages to climb through that window, you’re in danger of losing your privacy, your money, and even your identity. Chilling stuff.
Thankfully, there are many ways to secure that window, ensuring that the pirates and vagabonds of the digital high seas can’t ruin your life. And here they are, in handy list format.
Lock your screen
We get it: unlocking your screen is a nuisance. It creates a frustrating delay between getting a WhatsApp notification and reading the text, or simply getting your phone out and being able to actually use it. Each time you input a pattern or code may take just a second or two, but the cumulative toll in time is enormous.
But here’s the thing: if you don’t lock your phone, anybody who picks it up has access to everything. Everything. Your photos, your emails, your profiles on pretty much every site you visit, from Facebook to Amazon. So, however tempting it might be to get rid of that pesky unlock screen, don’t.
Enable two-factor authentication for Google (and everything else)
Two factor authentication is a simple but incredibly effective tool for securing your various online accounts. In short, it ensures that any would-be cybercriminal needs both a password and a single-use limited-time code sent by text to log in to your Google account and make changes.
Use Antivirus software
Viruses and malware are perhaps the most terrifying threat to your phone’s security, since they can slip in and out without you even realising it, stealing data and even listening in to your conversations.
Fortunately there’s a simple solution: instal a decent, reputable Antivirus app, like Avast, Norton, Avira, or AVG. These apps are free (though you can pay for extra features or to remove ads), and they keep you safe. It’s a no-brainer.
Instal a VPN
Now we’re getting into techie territory. A VPN is a tool that routes your traffic through anonymous servers, effectively turning you invisible as far as your online presence is concerned.