How to Protect Your Privacy in the Smartphone Age

First, it was the advent of the internet. Then Apple blazed the trail for smartphone makers. And when these two technologies were combined, how people communicated and got their information had drastically changed. Today, whenever you need to call, text, search, or shop, you use your smartphone. Yes, smartphones have definitely made life much faster, easier, and more convenient.

But every piece of technology can have its repercussions, whether it’s to the user or the environment. The invention of cars, for example, has contributed much to the depletion of the ozone layer. Einstein’s E=mc2 formula has given birth to weapons of mass destruction. What about the internet? Well, it has compromised a lot of things, like privacy.

In this day and age of the smartphones, people are becoming more and more susceptible to prying eyes. So the question now is: How do you protect your privacy in the smartphone age? Here are a few important tips:

Always lock your phone. The auto-lock feature’s there on your smartphone for a reason, and that is to keep your phone, and your personal information, safe even when you lose or misplace the handset. You can choose a pattern, password, or PIN as lock. Don’t fret about having to enter a password or PIN whenever you try to call or text. Just imagine what the possible repercussions could be when you lose your unlocked phone. Anyone can just gain access to your personal information, contacts, banking records, and even your photos or videos.

Disable sharing. It’s okay to share files like your music library at home. But once you step outside of your house and your own private network, turn off your phone or tablet’s sharing settings. This is to make sure that your device won’t get hacked once you try connecting to other Wi-Fi networks outside of home.

Surf smartly and avoid spammy apps. “Think before you click”, as they often say. Even before you hit the DOWNLOAD or GO button, make sure that the app you’re downloading comes from a trusted source, has received positive feedback from users, and is not in any way spammy. Other apps are laced with malicious intent, attaching spam contents with tools or games. Also, avoid suspicious-looking sites. They may have malware or viruses in them that can infiltrate your gadget’s system and cause more harm than good.

Disable automatic connection to Wi-Fi hotspots. Your gadget may be set to automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks when detected. If it is, disable this feature. Not all Wi-Fi networks available are safe. Some can even be fake ones, using the name of famous coffee shops so gullible users would connect to their network and enable them to get as much information they can.

Refrain from geo-tagging. While it’s okay to use geo-tagging in social networking sites once in a while, don’t make a habit out of it. You’re just allowing yourself to be stalked. At the same time, you’re also leaving your home vulnerable to trespassers and burglars. If you post something online like the entire family’s somewhere else and not at home, it’ll be the same as inviting unwanted people to your house.

Be careful and smart when photo-sharing. Make sure that the photos you upload and share, especially those involving kids, won’t fall into the wrong hands. Filter those who are able to see your photos and avoid publicly sharing photos.

Install security software in your phone. Choose from the most trusted security software developers like Norton, AVG, and McAfee.

Protect your passwords. Don’t allow your device to automatically remember the passwords to your email, VoIP service, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, especially to your online banking account. Don’t use the same password for all accounts. Remember to change them once in a while as well.

And finally, install phone-finding software. That way, if your phone gets lost, stolen, or misplaced, you can still find it and get it back.

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