4 handy tips to protect your smartphone privacy

phone privacy tips - 4 handy tips to protect your smartphone privacy

We cannot do without our smartphones and many things we do every day are tied to them, be it sending text messages to friends or watching shows on the Internet.

Yet, this means our phones contain a wealth of intimate private data. It is also hard to tell who has access to our data and what it is used for.

Here are four easy tips to protect yourself on Android and iOS.

1. Level up your passcode

Fingerprint and facial recognition may be the most popular ways to unlock your phones these days, but a strong backup passcode is still your first line of defence to prevent unwanted data access when you lose your phone.

You are usually asked to select a passcode when setting up an Android phone, but if you want to revisit your settings, go to Security & Location in Settings, then under Screen Lock, choose from the options available.

You can either set an unlock pattern, a numeric pin, or a password. An alphanumeric password is best but if this is too much fuss, always set at least a six-digit pin instead of a four-digit one.

For more security, enable Secure Start-Up when prompted so whoever turns off your phone must enter a pin to restart the device. This helps protect your personal data in a pinch.

On iOS, you can do the same in Settings under Touch/Face ID & Passcode, though you cannot set an unlock pattern.

2. Manage application permissions

We use a ton of applications daily for several activities and most of them ask for permissions to access key functions and data. But in our rush to use them, we can grant apps too much access.

It boils down to making sure permissions requested make sense. It is reasonable for Facebook to ask to access your media so you can share them with your friends, but if a game asks for the same, then you need to check whether it has similar functions.

Location access is more situational. It can be useful to keep location services on at all times, but you risk giving less credible apps too much access to where you are.

This is why it is important to customise app permissions when you have the time. On Android Oreo, go to Apps & Notifications in your Settings, then App Permissions.

The dropdown list is organised according to types of access from Location, Storage, and Contacts. Just select the category and toggle permissions for each on and off to grant access to apps you trust the most.

On iOS 11, you can toggle permissions for individual apps by going into Settings and scrolling down to find the apps you want to control access for. Clicking on each app brings up the list of permissions they have which you can toggle on or off.

A golden rule for app permissions: if in doubt, turn access off. If a permission is really critical for an app to function, it will ask for access again and you can switch it on.

By Louis Teo

See Full Story at www.techgoondu.com


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