Published on January 25, 2024 Vincent Paquette
We all have iPhone or Android smartphones. However, we often make mistakes that can jeopardize the information we have about our personal, professional or business lives. Ultimately, we are responsible for the privacy of our devices. What means are there to ensure the protection of our personal data? How does this work easily? We share things with you.
The protection of our personal data is constantly threatened by various threats.
A website where you have an account may be the victim of a data breach. Hackers may try to attack us using various tactics. Then artificial intelligence can also be used to deceive us.
However, the device that is at greatest risk is our smartphones!
Why is it important to protect personal data on mobile devices?
Let's be clear that protecting personal data is important on every type of device.
However, smartphones are the devices that should be given the most importance.
Firstly, because almost everyone has one. Most of the web is accessed via mobile devices.
This makes it the biggest potential attack point for hackers.
Then, of course, most of the information is stored on these devices.
We enter our contacts there. We take photos there. Our communications (SMS, messages, emails, calls) occur through these devices. Sometimes we manage our finances through our banking application.
In short, the majority of our personal data resides on our phones.
If these fall into the wrong hands, we are exposed to the risk of fraud, viruses or even identity theft.
Here are some mistakes you shouldn't make with your iPhone or Android phone if you want to make sure you don't experience one of these nightmares.
Your phone is not adequately protected
It seems crazy to say this, but it's not uncommon to see people with no security on their phones at all.
All they have to do is lose or have their phones stolen and all their data is at risk!
Use a PIN, fingerprint or facial recognition
The most important thing is to enter at least a PIN code into our phone! And not only that, but also to avoid the infamous 0000. Now we might as well not have a PIN if we use such a simple code…
First of all, we should go for a 6-digit code and not a 4-digit one. Better yet, if our phone allows it, we should use an alphanumeric combination as it is much safer!
However, we can also save ourselves the hassle of entering a PIN by opting for fingerprint or facial recognition instead.
Some will say: “You're talking to us about protecting our data and you want us to give our fingerprint or our face? Isn’t that a bit contradictory?”
Maybe by sight. Not really.
Our biometric data is only stored securely on our device and is not shared with Apple, Google or other smartphone manufacturers.
These biometric protections remain the best protective barrier against a stranger getting their hands on our phone.
Again, it may seem counterintuitive, but activating the Find My service on iPhone or Find My Device on Android remains a measure to consider.
These services allow us to find our device if we lose it or it is stolen.
We connect to our Apple ID or Google account via another device and can then locate our device and even lock it remotely!
Activate anti-theft protection
On this specific topic, Apple has been offering anti-theft protection on the iPhone since the iOS 17.3 update.
However, this feature is not enabled by default on Apple phones.
Here we explain how to activate anti-theft protection on an iPhone.
On Android we can remotely protect our phone in case of theft through the Find My Device service.
Ignore and don't update
It's a shame, but too many people choose to ignore their phone and not update it.
Some people fear that errors will occur or that the battery will run out more quickly after the update.
Of course, unfortunately it is not impossible for this to happen.
But the fact is that it is important to ALWAYS update as they contain security patches to close gaps that could expose our data.
Update iOS and Android
A new version of iOS on our iPhone is available? Or a new Android update on our phone?
We have every interest in doing this again to protect our device and the information stored on it.
Update our applications
The same applies to apps. They can also have vulnerabilities and security gaps.
Plus, it's super easy to update our apps on iOS and Android!
We give our apps too many permissions
What do we usually do when we download a new application? We keep urging: Authorize, authorize, authorize!
We don't even take the time to read, we give access to everything because we want to use the application in question quickly.
However, if we take a step back, we can easily question whether it makes sense to, for example, give a calculator application access to our location. Or give access to our photos for a weather application.
These are examples that seem crazy, but many apps ask for permissions that have nothing to do with the service they offer.
A NordVPN study found that 87% of Android applications and 60% of iOS applications requested permissions that were not necessary for their operation.
In short: it is worth cleaning up and changing the permissions that we have given to our mobile applications.
Click on something anywhere
We do pretty much everything on our phones. We surf the Internet. We shop online. We text. We receive emails.
All of these actions can make us want to quickly click on different links.
It could be a product we saw on a social network, a friend inviting us to watch a video, or an email asking us to click on a link to get one to resolve the situation.
However, we must always be on our guard and pay close attention to what we click on.
You are never too far away from falling victim to a phishing attack or, worse, a spear attack.
It is very important to remember tips for recognizing such attempts.
Snub antivirus and protection suites
As already mentioned, smartphones are the preferred target for hackers due to their popularity.
However, if there is one myth that persists in the world of mobile phones, it is that there are no viruses or threats on the iPhone.
On the Android side, manufacturers like Google, Samsung and others put their marketing focus on the protection solutions their phones offer.
Yes, the Titan M chip on Pixels or the Knox protection on Samsungs provide some security, but that's not enough.
Get a good antivirus software
This is not enough because these protections are not waterproof against all threats.
In addition, we are at the mercy of security updates to our defense systems.
For Pixels, system updates occur monthly. On Samsung too, but on certain devices… On others it can be quarterly (3 months) or even semi-annual (6 months) updates.
Unless a new threat appears on the Internet and our phone's defense system is not updated, this means that we are at risk.
This is why we always recommend using a good mobile antivirus.
These antivirus programs are made by companies that specialize in cybersecurity. They quickly detect new threats and quickly add them to their antivirus programs so they can identify and block them.
Additionally, these protection solutions usually cost between $15 and $20 per year. It would be crazy to give it up!
Our selection of mobile antivirus programs
Use a VPN when browsing public Wi-Fi
If we travel a lot or are constantly looking for a WiFi connection to save mobile data, we need to be careful when connecting to public WiFi.
For what? Because all the data that is transmitted between our phone and the website or application we are viewing is in plain text on the Wi-Fi network.
Anyone with a little computer knowledge and connected to the same Internet network can intercept our data.
For this reason, it is always in your best interest to use a VPN when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network.
What is a VPN? Basically, it is software that allows us to encrypt our internet connection so that our data is unreadable to anyone who wants to intercept it.
And we see you: Don't search for free VPNs on the Internet or in app stores! Free VPNs are either incomplete, slow or downright fraudulent as they intercept our data themselves!
It is always better to go for a paid solution with a good VPN with a good reputation.
Our VPN selection
Save your passwords in the notes application
We know it's not easy to navigate through all the passwords for our different accounts.
We can use the tricks to have a strong password, but we have to remember each of them, even if we have to use a different one for each of our accounts.
However, this is not a reason to use the note application on our phone and write down all our passwords!
These apps do not offer any security barriers.
Instead of using this, or worse, always using the same passwords, it is much more in your best interest to use a good password manager.
With these managers we can not only create secure passwords, but also store them extremely securely using an encryption process.
We can then lock everything with our fingerprint or especially our facial recognition.
Our password manager chooses