Six Things You Should Do to Keep Your Cell Phone Safe | Safety

The increase in attempted scams and attacks on social media profiles raises concerns about cell phone security. Smartphones store a lot of sensitive data — browsing history, passwords, banking information and more — which, if they fall into the wrong hands, can cause a lot of headaches. Therefore, it is necessary to use resources and adopt habits to avoid the action of malware and the occurrence of fraud, preserving the security and privacy of information. Here are six tips to protect your Android or iPhone (iOS) phone.

READ: Online Protection: 5 Ways to Keep Your Passwords Safer on Mobile

Six things you should do to keep your phone safe — Photo: Unsplash

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1. Update the operating system and installed applications

Regularly updating the applications and the mobile operating system itself is important to bring more security to the device. iPhone apps are updated automatically, but if necessary, you can update manually. To do this, open the App Store and tap the profile icon. Then scroll down to see pending updates and then press “Select All”.

On Android, the step by step to update apps is simple. Just go to the Google Play Store and tap the profile icon. Then, in the menu that appears, press “Manage Apps and Devices” and then “Manage”. Once that’s done, just tap on “Available updates” to check the apps with available update.

Updating apps on Android phones — Photo: Reproduction/Raisa Capela

As for operating systems update, on Android, go to Settings > System Update > Android Security Update. On iOS, go to Settings > General and tap “Software Update”. Both systems usually send a message in the notification bar about news and updates.

2. Use built-in security and privacy protections

To guard against targeted attacks and ensure privacy and security, it is critical that users enable the built-in mobile protections. The procedure prevents third parties, even with login and password, from accessing your accounts. Both Android and iPhone (iOS) provide the feature that prevents unauthorized entry into the account.

To activate the function on Android smartphones, go to the “My Account Google” website ( and then press the “Verification & Security” tab. There, scroll to the 2-Step Verification > Enable option.

Activation of two-step verification on Android phone — Photo: Reproduction/Raisa Capela

To activate the function on iPhone, go to Settings > Passwords and select the account for the website or app. Then tap “Set up verification code” and then hit “Enter Setup Key”. Then press the “Configuration Key” field, tap “Paste”, select “OK” and press the “Verification Code” field. Then tap on “Copy Verification Code”. After this procedure, go to the website or app and paste the code in the indicated place.

3. Manage app permissions

It is common that, after being installed, some applications ask for permissions such as access to the camera, microphone, location, internal storage and others. In this sense, it is essential to manage the permissions that each app has on the device from time to time. The practice reinforces the safety of users.

If you notice that an app has permission to read data that doesn’t suit the way it works (photo editing apps with permission to access the microphone, for example), it’s worth removing access from the service.

Managing application permissions on Android phones — Photo: Reproduction/Raisa Capela

To do this, on Android, open Settings > Apps > Permissions > Permissions Manager. So, just analyze the apps with access to the data and, if you deem any permission unnecessary, select the software and the option “Do not allow”. On iPhone, open Settings > Privacy > and adjust the permissions for each app in the individual options.

4. Backup your cell phone

Regularly backing up your smartphone is a preventive measure so you don’t lose data in case of unforeseen events, such as theft, loss or device replacement. It is important to save it in two different places, such as on the external hard drive and on Google Drive or iCloud cloud services. In this way, it is possible to recover files and data with practicality.

Way to perform a backup on a cell phone with Android system — Photo: Reproduction/Raisa Capela

On Android, go to Settings > About Phone > Backup & Restore. Confirm the unlock password and start the backup process. On Apple cell phones, the procedure is done automatically by the system. Therefore, it is essential to verify that the device storage has enough space to perform the backup.

5. Do not install apps from outside official stores

Downloading applications and games outside official stores increases the risk of being a victim of hackers and spyware, which can monitor activities and pass on information without your knowledge. That’s because APKs, as applications made available from external sources are called, do not pass the security check of the Google Play Store and App Store. Therefore, it is not possible to attest to the safety of the download.

It is worth mentioning, however, that some developers can clone legitimate applications and modify them in order to add malicious functions. The Play Store, for example, has already banned thousands of fake apps. Some of them were even capable of stealing passwords from social networks. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the developer responsible for the app, in addition to checking evaluations and comments of the software in stores.

6. Always choose secure and strong passwords

Many users repeat passwords in different apps and choose numerical sequences that are easy to guess, such as family members’ birthdays and pets’ names. To create a strong and secure password, consider uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters, even if it is more difficult to remember. In addition, it is important to periodically exchange codes and not write them down in notebooks on the device. If possible, use a password manager.

In the absence of creativity, there are programs that generate strong passwords online — Photo: Disclosure/Getty Images

With information from Digital Trends

See too: How to find Wi-Fi password on mobile

How to find Wi-Fi password on mobile