At the advent of the smartphone revolution, we used to ask people what they liked to do on our smartphones. These days it would be much quicker to ask people what they don’t do on them. Our mobile phones have taken a place in pretty much every aspect of our lives.
If you are a gamer, the chances are you are now a mobile gamer, with consoles becoming increasingly obsolete. Few of us go shopping these days without checking the price of something online before making a purchase. We socialise on our mobiles through social media, we work online, we do our banking online. The list goes on and on and on.
The reason we use our mobile to all of this is quite simple – convenience. But sad to say, having all this personal data and online activity on one device is not just convenient for us as users.
It is also convenient for hackers. For cybercriminals data and information equals money. And with people using one device to do so many different things, the rewards for getting into your mobile can be high.
So what can we do to stop this? Firstly, there are many articles online that outline the risks of using a mobile phone (click here to learn more on that) that are available to help you understand how to be less at risk from hackers. It is unrealistic to suggest that we stop doing some of these things on our mobiles. You can never roll-back a technology once it is out there and has taken hold.
But fortunately there are a few simple steps we, as users, can take to help keep our mobile, and the data it contains, safe from hackers.
I have worked in the mobile security sector for a number of years, and I know that despite the plethora of mobile security apps and software on the market, we can actually secure ourselves pretty well with as few as three good security apps.
So here is my rundown of the 3 ways to secure your mobile from hackers.
1. Anti-Virus Software: My pick – 360 Security
We all have anti-virus software on our computers, but it never ceases to amaze me how many people don’t seem to think it is necessary on their mobile. It is.
There are plenty of apps out there for you to choose from too including all the biggest names in the anti-virus industry. But the pick of the bunch on the market right now for me is 360 Security.
360 Security is the complete package. It offers real-time protection against viruses, Trojans, and malware. It has a range of privacy functions which allow you to protect private messages and also contact lists. And it also offers a filter service for both calls and SMS messages.
This sounds like plenty, but there is more. An additional ‘Boost’ feature allows you to manage your phone’s memory to make sure it is running optimally. Plus, there is also a function to help you clean up your mobile and remove any unwanted apps.
360 Security has everything you will need and more and is an essential download for anyone serious about keeping their mobile secure.
2. Password Manager: My pick – KeyPassX
With so many different services and functions available on our mobiles, there are many different passwords we need to remember in order to do everything on the go.
We all hate having to remember passwords. And it is little wonder that so many of us still use easy-to-remember, but easily compromised passwords for these accounts, despite frequent advice to the contrary.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Because if you use a Password Manager such as KeyPassX, remember passwords stops being such a headache. A Password Manager is a software programme which securely stores all your passwords and allows you to access them via a single master password, which is all you have to remember. It also helps you generate complex and secure passwords.
The best around at the moment is KeypassX. It’s am open source programme and whilst not always the most user-friendly, it is definitely the most secure. And once you get the hang of it, you will wonder how you ever managed without it.
But once you master it, you will wonder how you ever did without it.
3. A VPN:
A VPN (or Virtual Private Network) allows you to connect to the internet via an encrypted connection and a remote server.
Why would I need to do this, you may ask? Well, there are a number of reasons.
Firstly, a VPN allows you to be totally anonymous online. All your online activity is funneled down an encrypted pathway. This means that your IP Address is hidden and none of your online activity can be traced back to you.
Secondly, because this connection is encrypted, all of your data is secure from any hackers who might want to get their hands on it. Unless they can hack into the encryption which for most reputable VPNs is nigh on impossible, there is no way to get hold of any of your personal details online. They even make public Wi-Fi networks secure to use.
Lastly, there is the global convenience a VPN can offer you. If you travel abroad, you may be surprised to see how many services you use back in the UK are unavailable to you. This is because they are geo-blocked.
But a VPN reroutes your traffic via an external server, which if it is located in the UK means you can access any site which is available there too. So for example, if you are visiting Dubai and want to use a restricted service such as the iPlayer, you can use a VPN with a UK server to do just that.
A VPN is another must have for anyone serious about keeping their mobile device secure, and with these three apps on your mobile, you can use it to do just about anything with complete peace of mind.