Your phone holds some of the most personal information about you and your contacts. Whether it’s phone numbers, emails, messages, banking information, or anything else, if someone else gets ahold of this information, the outcome can be detrimental. There’s no doubt that it’s vitally important to keep your devices safe and secure.
Cybercriminals have become experts at exploiting digital vulnerabilities in nearly every device – from desktops to home alarms and even light bulbs. Even malware and spyware is found on smartphones. Trend Micro has already discovered over 235,000 detections of ransomware on Android devices in the first half of 2017 alone. That’s nearly double the number of detections in 2016.
Today, it takes more than just a pin protecting your lock screen to ward off hackers. Instead, you’ll need an extra layer of security beyond your phone’s integrated system controls.
What Is at Risk?
Consider all of the personal details you transmit through your phone. If a complete stranger were to gain unlimited access to your device – especially a criminal – is there anything on there that you may not want them to have access to? How about your home address? Photos of your family? Your personal contacts with their phone numbers, emails, addresses and more? With your device compromised, a hacker or cybercriminal could read all of your messages, spam your social media sites, and worse. With access to this information, cybercriminals can easily:
- Steal your identity
- Exploit your personal contacts
- Inject your device with malware
- Use your banking details to carry out theft
Top Security Mobile Apps to Secure Your Device
Here are the top apps that you need to make sure your personal details are never stolen:
Avast! – Antivirus and Security
Avast! has long been considered one of the best mobile security apps. The app performs automatic scans of the content on your phone and memory card. It even analyzes apps before you download them and limits unwanted calls and messages by allowing you to block and filter certain numbers. One of the greatest security features of the app is the anti-theft protection. If your phone is stolen, Avast! can locate your device, lock it, wipe the data and even play a siren remotely. The best part? Avast! is totally free.
Trend Micro Mobile – for Security & Antivirus
Trend Micro is a leading malware detection tool that scans your device while sparing your battery life and performance. Using the free version of the app, Trend Micro offers malware detection and protects users from phishing sites. You can even try the “Just-a-Phone” feature that kills all non-essential background processes. To access the malware blocking and cleaning tool, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium version of the app. However, there is a 7-day free trial of the premium features, so go ahead and give it a try and see if your device is plagued with hidden malware.
Last Pass Authenticator – for Handling Your Passwords
In today’s digital world people have more accounts and passwords than they can possibly remember. While sites require increasingly in-depth passwords, managing your login details can be a difficult task. LastPass provides an organized storage system that stores all of your account passwords and any other sensitive information you decide to store. All you need to remember is your LastPass master password followed by a 6 digit code that is generated for each login, making sure you are the only one who can access your information. You can even utilize their password generator to help you come up with new secure combinations for websites.
MyPermissions – Restrict App Permissions
Think about how many times you have browsed over to new websites or downloaded new apps and instead of taking the time to input your email, you’ve selected the convenient option “connect with Facebook” or “log in with Facebook”. Although this makes registering for new sites and services easier, you may not realize that you’re giving each of these third-party applications access to heaps of your personal details and account information. MyPermissions allows you to take control over which applications can see your personal details both online and on your phone. You can see exactly which apps you’ve connected with on social media sites and identify what data they are accessing, and then approve, remove or report them.
Signal – Secure Your IMs
Signal offers an instant messaging platform that encrypts all of your messages. It also houses other valuable features that messengers have such as VoIP phone calls, group chats and much more. Signal’s end-to-end encryption takes messenger security to the next level. With encryption, you can successfully ward off hackers since no one can read any of your personal messages except for you and your intended recipient. However, the app only works with other people who also have the app, so you’ll need to convince your friends to download it as well.
SaferVPN – Browse Privately and Securely with a VPN
SaferVPN allows you to enjoy a fast, private and encrypted Internet connection directly on your mobile device either for VPN for IOS or Android. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to connect to a global server with an anonymous IP address. This lets you disguise your location, name and Internet Service Provider and appear as if you were browsing from another country. Additionally, while more and more individuals fall victim to hackers over unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, a VPN prevents this from happening. The app allows you to automatically browse the web with bank-level 256-bit encryption so you can protect your personal data and shield hackers from stealing your most valuable information.
|If you would like to contribute an article to Cornell Techies, please email us.|