Over the years, smartphones have evolved into something essential and irreplaceable in our lives. Today, most of us rely on smartphones for almost everything – from business and shopping to entertainment and communication.
Despite their usefulness, many people are not using their devices safely. Take locking the home screen, for example. While it is the most basic of all mobile security precautions, a 2017 Pew report revealed that almost 30 percent of all smartphone users fail to use screen lock options to protect their phones.
It is this type of lapses that lead many users to become prey to malicious acts and cybersecurity breaches. So, when using refurbished mobile devices, keep these five mobile phone security tips in mind to ensure that your gadget stays protected:
1. Locking the home screen
There’s a reason why manufacturers include lock screen features in smart devices: to keep your information away from prying eyes. Locking your home screen will help you prevent people from using your phone and accessing its contents without your permission.
Home screen locking can be done in many ways. Try to navigate your phone security features in the settings menu and enable a pass lock. You might also find other features such as pattern, PIN or password locks, fingerprint scanners, and facial recognition.
Face locks are easier to use, but they are much less secure than other features available. If you’re looking for a better way to prevent unauthorized access, go for pattern unlocks or PINs. But if you can handle memorizing a password, it is still the most recommended phone lock feature recommended by many experts today.
2. Come up with strong passwords
Coming up with strong passwords isn’t everyone’s strongest suit, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is still the best way to secure your smartphone. You see, failed password attempts trigger security features like phone locks. In some cases, the device automatically disables itself or erases all the data it contains, depending on what the user’s settings are.
When creating a password, it would be best to make it as long as possible and maximize the allowed character count. This will make it more difficult to guess the password.
Alphanumeric passwords are ideal. But if you’re worried that you might forget what it is, you can try doing the pass phrase method.
This technique in creating a strong-but-easy-to-remember password entails picking four random words. Then, create a passphrase out of them. The key to ensuring that the phrase is a strong password choice is its length and the randomness of the word choice.
For instance, the phrase “cat in the hat” is a terrible choice for a passphrase because of how common it is. Plus, the words make sense when strung together. Similarly, a string of words that make logical and grammatical sense, like “my lovely red house,” will also be relatively easy to guess.
A good passphrase must be random and doesn’t make sense. One example is “correct seashell battery molasses.” It is also much easier to remember compared to the traditional alphanumeric passwords.
3. Install an antivirus and keep it updated
Mobile devices are also at risk of viruses and malware, especially if the user tends to download things onto his phone a lot. While the problem isn’t as apparent as it is on computers, your device might still be at risk of these cybersecurity threats if you download software from unverified or unofficial sources.
Although iPhones tend to be at a lower risk because of Apple’s strict control in the App store compared to Android’s open-source nature, beefing up your mobile security is still wiser. This means you must install reliable antivirus software. Also, remember to keep it up-to-date to make sure that your phone is protected even from new forms of malicious software.
4. Avoid jailbreaking and unverified app sources
Jailbreaking Apple devices is the equivalent of rooting for Android. Both allow users to download and install apps that cannot be found on the App Store and Google Play.
But while getting rare mobile apps may be tempting, these tend to be less secure than those that are downloadable from the abovementioned legitimate sources. This is because apps that contain malicious codes are more likely to be removed from Google Play or the App Store.
When you jailbreak your iPhone and don’t know what you’re doing, you end up allowing those malicious codes to take an easier route to your device’s data. This is because jailbreaking breaks down the OS and allows access to basic codes within it.
5. Only buy refurbished devices from reliable sellers
Aside from keeping an existing device protected, you also need to be diligent in checking the devices you buy, especially if you’ve decided to go with renewed or refurbished devices.
To make sure the item you purchase is secure, inspect the device thoroughly before buying. Also, stick to refurbished device suppliers that are reliable and have an excellent track record in customer service. Those with user-friendly return policies are also the most ideal.
You can also check whether the company website has plenty of positive reviews and testimonials that attest to their credibility as a business. In some cases, you can also learn more about the devices they sell by browsing through other pages of their site.
Here at Teckzu, we make sure that the renewed tablets, smartphones, and accessories we offer have been classified according to their actual condition as described in our Grade Guide.
Keep your phone secure
Security should be a priority when it comes to smartphones, especially if you’re using it for important work or business. Heed our advice and use this article to keep your phone secure.
Browse through our website for the available Platinum-, Gold-, and Silver-graded reconditioned devices. We only offer secure and high-quality items, so you’re sure to get your money’s worth.