Recent reports of online surveillance and cyber tracking of LaPresse journalist Patrick Lagacé by the police has brought on the forefront an issue that has long been discussed about by privacy experts worldwide.
If you have read ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ or seen the movie, then you would have noticed how the hacker girl could access all of the content on the journalists’ computer and use it too. This time around it was the police doing the hacking but privacy seeking journalists and citizens are just as concerned.
To protect your phone from surveillance and hacking threats, we have compiled a list of best ways to keep your phone secure.
Update all your software and apps
The updated versions are less likely to be vulnerable to hacker attempts and have security issues. You also enjoy the most recent version of the software which means there are better features.
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.
Airplane 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.