Cyber security is now an issue of grave concern to just about anyone. Personal data is constantly being targeted, and data fraud and identity theft are becoming common. Just like the steps one takes to stay safe in the real world, it is essential to have safe habits in the online world to keep your devices and accounts secure.
Table of Contents
- Change your passwords
- Check account and device activity.
- Check your connected applications.
- Monitor what your computer is running
- Check the Privacy settings of your apps.
- Keep an eye on who uses your Wi-Fi.
- Update your devices often.
- Best Ways to Keep Your Phone Secure From Surveillance
Here are seven things you should do to keep all your online accounts and devices safe and secure:
Change your passwords
Changing your passwords often can save you from various data breaches and leaks. Your accounts will be safer if you pick a secure password and change it frequently. Don’t use many accounts but stick to a few key accounts you can monitor.
If changing your password is challenging, use a reliable password manager to help you out. Choose a password manager with the best ratings and is widely used, or create your unique password, which is very difficult for others to guess.
Check account and device activity.
Most accounts will now let you check recent account activity. If you notice anything suspicious, take action immediately. Similarly, you will get notifications when your account is accessed from a new device, enabling you to understand device activity better.
You should be able to see recent logins and devices which you have authorized. By monitoring account and device activity, you can also block any machines that look suspicious. Set up alerts for new logins from other devices to prevent data breaches.
Check your connected applications.
Hackers are more likely to use third-party apps connected to your devices rather than try to hack your device’s account itself. Don’t sign up for apps that look suspicious or that you don’t require. Having control over the apps on your appliances can help you stay safe and help in other ways, such as saving battery and storage space.
Monitor what your computer is running
Data breaches can happen when you least expect them, and downloading something from the internet can usually be the cause. Be cautious when you download something or install new software. Similarly, you should occasionally check what is running in the background of your computer and also do a quick audit of your browser and any extensions you may have downloaded.
On your Windows computer, the Task Manager will give you a list of everything running on the computer. If something looks suspicious, it can be a good idea to run a search online to find out more about it. Uninstall any add-ons or extensions you don’t need any longer. You can do the same on your Mac using the Activity Monitor.
Check the Privacy settings of your apps.
Go to the Applications section of your settings to learn more about the privacy settings of the apps installed. If any app seems to have access to data that it does not need to perform its functions, it can be a good idea to be vigilant and get rid of it. Similarly, investigate if apps request more personal information than usual.
Both Android and iOS apps will let you view privacy settings and see the permissions given to the App. As a caution, stay away from apps you don’t need and prefer apps with higher ratings and more users.
Keep an eye on who uses your Wi-Fi.
Have a password for your home Wi-Fi network to prevent it from being used by others. When using public Wi-Fi, stay safe using a VPN and your router settings to find connected devices. Changing your Wi-Fi password regularly can also be a good idea; this can prevent data breaches and unwanted usage and expense.
Update your devices often.
Updating your devices is very important for their overall security. Download the latest upgrade for your devices and accounts and install them to have the latest security. Having an up-to-date anti-virus protection service is also essential. Remember that the older the software, the higher the threat.
Best Ways to Keep Your Phone Secure From Surveillance
While we’re at it, to protect your phone from surveillance and hacking threats, we have compiled a list of the best ways to keep your phone secure.
Only download apps after research
You should only download the apps you really need. When you do download something, ensure you have done enough research to make sure it is safe. Some apps ask for more access than they need, which can be misused by hackers. Reading online reviews and security tips can help you. Also only download apps from the official app store. IPhone users should use Apple App Store and Android users should download from the Google Play Store.
Leave your phone at home
While this is not really suitable for everyone, it can work well for journalists who don’t want their sources to be revealed. It is always better to be sorry especially if it is a case where privacy is very important.
Turn off GPS, Bluetooth and WIFI
If you are looking for some privacy, you should definitely turn off your GPS and Bluetooth and avoid using WIFI at places other than your home or office. It is very easy to identify the location of a phone using these options.
Aeroplane mode even when you aren’t flying
If you aren’t really expecting a call and would rather your phone not be traced, then using airplane mode is a good way to stay off the grid.
Lock the screen
Keeping the phone screen locked when you aren’t using it is a good way to prevent snoopers from gaining access to your data.
1234 is not a good password! Your anniversary date is not the password you should have on your phone either. Choose a more complicated, longer and stronger password.
You could also consider using the finger print scan option to unlock your phone. But that really doesn’t make it completely secure either. Don’t include any other finger prints other than your own or trusted immediate family.
Log off banking and shopping sites
If you do use banking and shopping sites on your phone, don’t forget to log off when you are done. If someone steals your phone, at least your bank account or shopping account is still safe. Another tip is to ensure the site is a secure one by checking if it starts with HTTPS.
Don’t click on links you aren’t sure about
This is something everyone knows about. Yet it can be tempting to click on a link when it is your best friend who has sent the email. If you feel suspicious about a link don’t click it, you can always message your friend to ask about it first. Open a browser and type the link of a site you would like to visit instead of relying on links elsewhere.
Back up your phone regularly
Backing up the data on your phone will ensure you aren’t going to lose data in case you don’t have access to your phone due to theft or corrupted data due to hacking attempts.