6 rules for using your phone safely

Cybercrime means not only large-scale operations, but above all – going after billions of ordinary Internet users around the world. Do you think this does not apply to you? Well, the person least aware of the dangers is also the easiest target.

Check out these 6 simple ways to effectively protect yourself and your phone from hackers.

1. Set a strong, UNIQUE password

This is the most basic of rules. Virtually every application requires you to enter a password in order to secure access to your account. However, we all use so many apps that we often forget that in an ideal world, our every single password should not only be strong, but also unique. As a result, we have one and the same password set for both the Facebook account and the bank's application. If this applies to you also – set new passwords immediately. A strong password consists of at least 8 characters (upper and lower case letters, numbers, symbols) and should be changed every 3 months. By the way: you do not have to keep in your head the million different passwords you have just generated. For example, a perfect tool for this purpose is Google Password Manager,  (https://passwords.google.com/) or other similar program that does it for you.

Why is this so important? A leaked FB account password can easily take cybercriminals to your bank account. This is an easy way to lose all your savings. You would not want that, right?
Remember! Never provide your passwords to anyone under any circumstances!

2. Do not click on suspicious links

Every day, hundreds of suspicious messages come into your inbox. Most of them, fortunately, end up in SPAM, protecting you against unwanted activities. However, if for some reason you come across an e-mail containing an attachment (e.g. zipped into a .zip format) or a request to click on a link, do not open the attachment and do not click until you are 100% sure that the sender is known to you. The above rule also applies to the messages sent via Messenger, WhatsApp and even SMS. This is the easiest way to install spy software without your knowledge that can cause irreparable damage to your device (including password theft).

3. Update 

Both the manufacturers your operating system and the application developers constantly try to maintain the security of their products. It is, therefore, a good practice to check from time to time whether your device has the latest versions of software, applications and even web browsers installed. You can update applications directly via Google Play (Android users) or App Store (iOS users). You can find system updates in the settings of your phone.

4. Turn off Wi-Fi outside of your home

Few users know about this aspect. Cafes, public places, stations, airports and shopping malls tempt us with free Wi-Fi. However, it creates a perfect opportunity for cybercriminals who can successfully hack such a network and get into your phone unnoticed. In order to avoid this, first of all turn off the automatic network connection option on your device.

Yes, it is sometimes difficult to use the data packet only. If you really have to use public Wi-Fi, there are a few rules to keep in mind:

  • make sure the network name is right,
  • do not log in into banking applications,
  • do not make any card payments or banking transactions, 
  •  browse only pages with SSL (with https:// instead of http:// and a padlock symbol). 

5. Safe use of unfamiliar devices

Your phone is almost like your third hand – you do not leave your house without it and you always have it with you. It may so happen, however, that your device's battery will die and you will have to urgently check your e-mail account. How to do it in the safest way?

When logging in into to your e-mail account on an unfamiliar device, use the incognito mode in the browser. When you finish and close the tab, you will be automatically logged out and the cookies will not be saved. This will prevent other users from accessing your Google account and being able to check your searches or the websites you have visited. 

Detailed instructions for Android and iOS devices can be found here >> https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/2917834?co=GENIE.Platform%3D…

6. Turn on a screen lock 

It is the very first shield that protects your phone and thus – your data against unauthorised users. Depending on the device you own, you have several options to choose from: a PIN code, a pattern, a password, a fingerprint reader or a face unlock. Check out your options and use this function. Better safe than sorry!

When it comes to protecting yourself from cybercriminals, there are no more and less important points. You should consider of all of them equally during everyday phone use. Remembering these few rules will effectively minimise the risk of a hostile takeover of your account and of your sensitive data. 

Good luck and keep safe!