Smartphones are one of the greatest technological advancements we have seen in recent history. Like the printing press, light bulb, and the automobile, smartphones have transformed the modern world and the way we communicate and interact with one another on a global scale. They really are a technological marvel in many ways but as sophisticated as they are technological, there are still some limits to their intelligence. As a matter of fact, the dumb choices we as individuals often make with these devices far outweigh the “smart” abilities of the phone in our hands.

Even though our smartphones are very personal devices, we can’t forget that they are also cameras (both still and video), telephones, web browsers, voice recorders, and so much more. If we aren’t careful, these amazing tools can be easily manipulated and used against us in a variety of ways. Here are just a few tips to help you avoid being dumb with your smartphone.

Use Screen Locks And Other Security Measures

Your phone contains a whole host of personal information from contacts and addresses, to credit cards and banking information. They are handheld, which makes them easy to store in a pocket or purse, but their size and capabilities also make them easy to misplace or have stolen. Adding some basic measures, including screen lock and a SIM card lock (which protects from someone just taking the SIM card out of your phone and putting it in an unlocked phone without a PIN number) will make it much harder for someone other than yourself to access the important data on your phone. 

Be Careful Where You Put Your Personal Information

The threat to your personal information and data doesn’t always come from someone physically getting their hands on your phone but, more often than not, are compromised by external threats instead. Your smartphone is always connected to the Internet, just like any computer, and like a computer can be compromised by viruses, phishing scams, and malware. Now that smartphone use is in the billions, they have become a big target for many nefarious parties out there who try to steal personal information or commit fraud at your expense.  For this reason, we need to take the same types of precautionary measures on our smartphones as we would on our computer at home. Exercising discretion about which links to click, where you enter personal information, and how much of your private information you store on one of these devices.

Question The Powers That Apps Ask You For

Whether you play mobile games or want to install the latest fitness app, it can be easy to just click buttons through all the questions that applications ask you during setup. Some of these are permissions that the app is asking you for which are relevant to its function or purpose. An example of this might be a fitness app that needs access to the location services of your phone to help determine run distance, speed, etc. However, many apps will ask for permission to make or take phone calls, access your camera, or any number of other abilities that seem outside of it’s intended use. If these requests seem unreasonable or not applicable to the software, you should definitely question the necessity of these permissions and forego using the app altogether if you don’t understand or feel comfortable with the permissions it is asking for.

Like computers, smartphones have become an integral part of life for much of the population around the world. As a result, it behooves us to take proper precautions and security measures to ensure that these devices are something that is used to enhance and improve our lives, not to its detriment. For more information on how to secure your devices and keep your family safe online please contact us today.