How to protect your smartphone from hackers

The data in our smartphones is increasingly important. That's why it's worth spending some time to improve its security

Smartphones today are no longer just a tool for making phone calls, sending messages and surfing the Internet. On the contrary, they are real repositories containing all our most important personal data, including credit cards, our habits, our tastes, not only with regard to surfing the Web, but also with regard to our purchases. This is why it is increasingly necessary to protect our smartphones from hackers.

Not a day goes by, in fact, that we don't read at least one news item about a hacker attack, a virus, a security flaw in some software that can put our data at risk. Sometimes the danger comes from the outside, as in the case of programming flaws in apps, but many other times it's us who put in place behaviors that undermine the security of our device. In fact, there are many things we can do ourselves to make safer the device to which we have entrusted all our secrets.

Tips to protect your smartphone

There are dozens of tips to increase the security of our phone and protect it from the most common attacks and dangers. The most important, however, are undoubtedly these 5:

1) Keep apps and the operating system up to date

App and operating system updates are essential: software companies are constantly releasing new versions that correct errors and flaws that gradually come to light. It is essential, therefore, to activate automatic updates of both the OS (especially security patches) and apps.

2) Turn off Wi-Fi when you leave home

When we are away from home, we almost always use the data connection to surf the web. That's why it's a good idea to turn off Wi-Fi which, if turned on, can be a gateway for hackers. If instead we keep it on to connect to a public network, we should be even more careful: very often these networks use security protocols that are not very effective.

3) Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication

Any thief who manages to physically take possession of our smartphone must force the password of the device and that of our accounts to access our data. That's why using a long password, with special characters, numbers and both upper and lower case letters is very important. Two-factor authorization puts an extra wall between our data and criminals and very often allows us to notice in real time if someone is trying to access our accounts.

4) Manage app permissions

The rule is always the same: when an app asks us to grant it permissions, during installation, ask ourselves what it can be used for. If we can't find the answer, then it's better not to grant them at all or we'll risk handing the app the keys to the chest.

5) Activate the phone lock

It seems trivial, but it's not: never leave your phone without at least one form of screen lock activated. Whether it's a numeric code, a gesture sequence, a fingerprint or recognition of our face, the phone must be locked. Otherwise, anyone who can pick it up can do whatever they want with it, without having to overcome any barriers.