We live in an age where we probably spend a significant chunk of our day looking at our smartphones. It can't be helped, they are just useful, entertaining, and have become a part of our lives.
The problem is, most people do not know how to be careful when it comes to smartphone internet safety. That can be dangerous especially when you use your smartphones for financial transactions. Hence, here are some smartphone internet safety tips that you will need to keep in mind when using your smartphones for pretty much anything.
Download an antivirus
A basic rule of thumb for any digital device user: if it has an antivirus application, then download and use that. There are plenty of free antivirus apps, and while not all of them are perfect or bulletproof, they can protect you from the most common digital security threats against your phone.
Careful with those apps
Smartphone users love to download and use apps and hackers know this That is why a lot of illegal and non-Google Play store apps have malwares, spywares, or adwares attached to them, basically viruses with different functions and harmful effects. So be careful with your apps and always read the reviews before downloading. It is also advised to not download and install anything outside the Google Play store unless you know what you are doing.
Use a reliable password manager
Smartphones have no shortage of social media and email apps. Pretty soon, you will be juggling multiple social media and passwords which can be confounding. A password manager will definitely make your life easier and safer, something like LastPass has been a proven industry standard when it comes to password safety.
Take advantage of two-factor authentication
Everyone uses social media these days, most commonly, Facebook. When there are billions of FB users, there is bound to be a proportional amount of FB hackers. As such, enabling the two-factor authentication where a code texted on your phone is made as part of your FB password is an invaluable added layer of security. It makes logging in more tedious, though, but it is worth it, so take advantage of two-factor authentication in any app that has it.
Heighten up your password/PIN
No matter how secure you think you are, using your or your ex's birthday as your pin code, that is not safe. It's actually quite easy to hack that. Hence, using an alpha-numeric password or a more complex pin at the very least will be safer. Do avoid patterns or facial recognition as those can be hacked easily. For better results, use a mixture of security locks.
Use a virtual private network (VPN)
The internet is full of people who want to take advantage of hapless web users. Even when you do not have useful financial info on your phone, you are still a viable victim and they can easily monitor you. Hence, a VPN will cover your tracks online and can usually make you invisible to whoever is watching you. Here's a list of free VPNs to get you started.
Steer clear from public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi access points are never safe no matter where you are, even airport Wi-Fi is considered one of the least secure online outlets in public spaces. The general rule is that if you use your phones for financial apps and transactions (Paypal, etc.), you should avoid public Wi-Fi as much as possible.
Turn off GPS and geotagging
Google has this habit of asking people to constantly turn on their GPS for a lot of apps. This is by no means, safe. You wouldn't want strangers to know where you are all the time, right? The same can be said for geotagging whenever you upload or take photos or videos. So turn those location features off when they are not in use or when they are not necessary.
Set up a remote wipe function
Smartphones do get stolen no matter how careful you are and sometimes it's a matter of luck. So, anticipating such a predicament should be part of owning a smartphone. One good contingency for stolen phones is a remote wipe function where your phone's data will be deleted instantly after it gets stolen. Some of the free antivirus apps also offer this feature, so take advantage of that.
Stay away from porn sites or other suspicious sites
Here's a trick to determine whether a website is safe: check the URL/address of the website, if there is an "https" at the very start, then it is secure. Any other letter/number combinations or even a missing "s" means it is not secure and people can "attack" your phone. However, an "https" does not always mean a site is rock-solid, porn sites like Pornhub, for example, have had a recent data collection scandal and even they have the "https" on their URL.