Modern smartphones can do more than computers 30 years ago, and more than some laptops today, at least in terms of versatility. This is great news for those of us who lead an active online lifestyle. But there's also bad news - hackers are now targeting smartphones to cause all kinds of problems. It is estimated that there are around 2 billion smartphones in the world and most of the store or connect to users' personal data.
By now, everyone should know about the dangers of using open Wi-Fi for just about anything, as free public Wi-Fi in malls, coffee shops, airports, or any other public place is the season open to the mischief of all kinds Internet. If possible, try to use only a private cellular connection and turn off Wi-Fion your cell phone completely when you are in a public place. If this is not possible, consider using a VPN app, a tool that tunneled network communication over an encrypted connection. But choose carefully - not all VPNs are of the same quality. Also, consider turning off Bluetooth when you're out and about unless you're wearing a smartwatch that requires it.
Everyone hates passwords. But when it comes to allocating them, don't take half measures. Only use strong passwords that hackers can't easily crack. They should be 16 to 20 characters long, including letters and numbers, upper and lower case letters, and symbols. The brute force mechanic of cracking passwords will still crack many strong passwords, but making it easy for hackers to use your birth date, pet's name, or the same password for everything is a really terrible idea.
Software companies are constantly updating their software, and not only for cosmetic reasons. Many software updates and bug fixes include security enhancements that help protect your smartphone from data breaches and intrusions and block security holes by making it harder for hackers to break in. When an update to the operating system of your smartphone or any application you use is announced, install it immediately.