Shielding your digital identity and keeping it secure from breaches may sound like something inessential or even redundant, but it’s actually more important than most people realize. If you think that the sheer fact that you simply ’don’t have anything to hide’ puts you on a safe side and eliminates you as a target for identity theft, we strongly encourage you to think again.
Cybercriminals don’t single out and attack only those who have some kind of secret which no one can know about. Your digital identity can be used for many different evil-doings. And your smartphone is one of the first things that will be swooped since it usually contains all the information needed about someone’s life. We tend to keep our passwords, photos, e-mails, instant messages, call history, banking apps, etc. on our phones: in some cases, all of this data can be found on a person’s smartphone. That’s why you need to make sure to keep your trusted companion secure at all times.
Keep Your OS and Apps Up-to-Date
One of the first things you want to make sure when keeping your online identity protected is to update your OS and apps regularly. Even if you feel like most of the updates are there simply for cosmetic purposes and you’re reluctant to constantly update, we advise you to reconsider your approach here.
Once you realize that bug fixes contain valuable improvements that keep your phone protected from cyberattacks and breakthroughs, you’ll probably start installing them routinely. It’s what we wholeheartedly recommend you to do, anyway.
Shun Away From Public Wi-Fi (Unless You’re Fully Protected With a VPN)
How many times have you heard of a story where someone reports that their phones have started to act strange shortly after connecting to an open Wi-Fi network? It really doesn’t matter if your answer here is ’1000’ or ’0’ – the point is that this does happen frequently.
So much so that we absolutely have to insist on the importance of defending yourself from various malpractices and wrongdoings. Probably the best way to accomplish this is by protecting your privacy with a free VPN. That way your network communication will be tunneled through an encrypted connection. In other words, all those cybercriminals and hackers won’t be able to get a hold of your personal information and identity.
Don’t Forget to Keep Your Phone Locked
This may sound superficial and trivial, but many people still don’t lock their smartphones. If you recognize yourself somewhere along these lines, it’s alright – it’s never too late to change old habits, especially bad ones that are putting so many important things in danger.
Set up fingerprint security or Face ID whenever possible. If your smartphone doesn’t come with this feature then you can always use a pattern, a PIN, or a password. The general rule of thumb here is to get fairly complicated. Make sure to use both numbers and letters. And it’s not just that your smartphone needs lock protection: apps that contain personal information should be safely locked behind strong passwords as well.
Two-Factor Authentication Is Your Friend
You’ve somehow managed to accept the fact that you need some form of authentication in order to keep your identity fairly protected. Now we tell you that it’s probably for the best if you use two-factor authentication, which means that you should go through the entire annoying, bothersome, and repetitious process twice.
’Really?’, you might be thinking to yourself already. But no matter how tedious and tiresome this may sound, there’s simply no room for laziness here. You can’t be cautious enough with these things, so an extra layer of protection is always welcome in this case.
Opt For Strong Passwords
We’ve already touched upon the subject of using strong passwords when we’ve talked about different ways to keep your smartphone locked. But it’s not enough if you only use strong passwords for this particular purpose. It’s also not enough to only protect those apps that contain personal information.
The truth is that you should always use strong passwords, even for websites or things that you don’t find that important. It’s usually recommended to opt for passwords that are 16-20 characters in length. Use a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols – anything that can make life harder for those who try to steal your digital identity. We also recommend you to lie in case of a security question – that way the online public information about you will be incoherent. In any case, change your passwords every six months at least, and never use the same password twice.
Don’t Let Spam and Phishing E-mails Get the Best Out of Your Smartphone
Your e-mail inbox is a constant target, so you need to make sure that there aren’t any wrong steps in this regard. We already know that using strong passwords is mandatory, but there are certain cases and scenarios where hackers can invade your phone and access personal data without finding out your password.
The so-called phishing scams are specifically designed to trick people into handing over access to their accounts. To prevent this from happening, don’t click on anything suspicious: promotional e-mails, incredulous attachments, application updates prompted through e-mail – these are all good reasons to be highly sceptical and mistrustful.
Unfortunately, we’re all witnessing the growing number of online identity theft, all across the globe. And while this practice has been in full swing for quite some time now, many people still don’t realize just how important it is to keep their online data and personal information protected at all times.
Our smartphones are becoming primary targets for cybercriminals and hackers since they usually contain all the necessary personal data and information which can be used for various frauds and wrongdoings. That’s why it’s paramount that you keep your smartphone shielded at all times. You never know when you might become the target of some of the schemes that can make your life miserable. Apply these simple yet effective tips that we’ve talked about in this article, and you’ll definitely have one worry less on your mind.