By Morgan T. McCulley
The phone is a tool we use for a lot of things, meaning it has to store data on our online activities so the phone can keep a memory of what happened for later. This is dangerous since all sorts of private information can easily be hacked or broken into. It’s important that we secure our own information because there isn’t anyone else who will. This is a quick list of a few things you can do right now to protect yourself and help keep those snooping around away from your information.
1. Track Yourself
It’s always good to keep your phone away from anyone who can get to it physically. This can be done by putting it in your pocket or in a bag that can be broken into. Small fanny packs are good for this. I personally like to put my phone in my boots if I’m wearing any. After all, what else is all that space good for if not hiding stuff in my tall boots. However, this doesn’t prevent peeking altogether. Apps with your GPS will track your location. If you have an app like this that you don’t use, get rid of the app. If you don’t need your location on, turn it off. Information can still get online through apps you might have signed up for. Social media is an easy way for someone to collect data on you if your information is set to be publicly available. If you can, try to not give the app more information than it needs. If you aren’t trying to be a famous internet star, there is no reason to make your information or your accounts public so make sure to change your privacy settings.
- Limit Share Time
There is nothing wrong about letting someone borrow your phone but there have to be limits. For example, “Screen pinning” is good for making sure someone doesn’t try to open up other apps if you have Android. If you don’t know what pinning is, it basically stops someone from opening other apps by making those apps have their own separate lock screens with passcodes. The iPhone has this too but it’s called Guided Access instead. Once you get your phone back, it’s very easy to undo.
3. Why Sound?
Sounds from our phones let us know if we are playing a video, if someone is calling, etc. However, others around also know what we doing or receiving as well. This isn’t an issue unless if your in the library where it needs to be quiet or if someone decides your phone activities are interesting. It’s for the best we don’t have our sound on anyway. It’s annoying when that one person gets a call during the quiet scene during the movie in the theater and of course, their volume is on full blast mode. Let’s avoid embarrassment and put on phones on vibrate or on silent whenever we can.
4. Go Into Lockdown
Locking your phone is an easy step towards protecting yourself since it’s a simple process. A passcode is good for higher security while a pattern is good for easier daily access. Both are be cracked, but that doesn’t mean they are not helpful against normal people in your life who might like to snoop. I do not recommend fingerprint or Face ID since that will go to the company and is considered sensitive data. It’s like if you sent your DNA to the government and then they used it for cloning you without your permission. Make sure to adjust the lockout time so our phone can’t get left out unopened for too long. Passcodes should be hard to guess and changed once in a while. This decreases your chances of people guessing what it is.
5. Say No To Notifications
Notifications are cool but not if they display sensitive work emails on your lock screen. Lucky for us, it’s easy to change how we see the notifications. On Androids, you can go into the settings and change it there. The best option is to hide just sensitive notifications so you can still see what you go but not the data part of it. On iPhones, it’s basically the same thing where you go into the settings and change them to what works best. The best option is to “show previews” just when the phone is unlocked. You can also restrict notifications from on specific apps on both phones so they wouldn’t be displayed at all.