Security threats to your smartphone are proliferating. Here are six ways to protect your device and data.
- Use a passcode: A PIN or password can prevent others from unlocking your device.
- Use encryption: Encryption scrambles phone data so it can’t be read by unauthorized users. iPhones encrypt data by default when you turn on a passcode. On Android devices, you often have to turn on encryption separately.
- Scrutinize permission requests: Many apps, particularly on Android, ask for more permissions than they necessarily need. On iPhones, you can block apps’ access to particular features or data. On Android, you may have to simply avoid certain apps.
- Stick to official app stores: Most smartphone malware is being distributed through third-party app stores, typically in places like Russia and China. Apple and Google, by contrast, have done a good job of keeping bad apps out of their stores.
- Use ‘find my phone’ features: Apple’s Find My iPhone and Google’s Android Device Manager help users locate lost phones and allow them to delete data from stolen ones.
Run anti-virus software: You can’t run anti-virus programs on iPhones, but you can on Android devices, often for free. The best ones will catch as much as 99 percent of known smartphone malware.