Your smartphone has at least one email account on it, as well as the associated contacts and calendar. You also have your memos and to-do list, and don’t forget about your browsing and phone history, and text messages. There’s also a great chance that you might have a banking app, a store app that contains your login account, or a travel app with your airline tickets.

More and more of our lives are now being put on devices like smartphones and tablets. Though these tools can be useful, they can also become problematic at the same time. Why? Because your digital life can be accessed easily through these devices. And because of this, our phones, tablets, and other gadgets become a mine of data about us, to which some are incredibly sensitive and damaging.

These phones have the ability to track us everywhere we go — and with that in mind, can we trust it enough to make financial transactions with businesses and our friends? Because there’s too much at risk, how do we keep our smartphones safe? What do we do if in case it gets lost? The thought of it can be nerve-wrecking altogether — imagine all the contact data of your family, friends, and business partners and colleagues, your login information for the sites and apps you frequently access, most importantly your credit card and account number on your banking and online shopping accounts.

We’ve compiled a list of ways on how you can secure your smartphone properly and keep all your valuables intact.

Tip #1: Set a lock code

Set a Lock Code

Phonebook entries, pictures, passwords, and from email to texts, your phone has tons of information that are highly susceptible to prying eyes. Whenever you take your phone outdoors, you should definitely have a lock code set on your phone. You can use either a 4-digit PIN or an actual password with letters, numbers, and characters. This will prevent nosy people and even thieves from gaining access easily to your phone’s information.

Tip #2: Enable “Do Not Track” on your mobile Web browser

 Enable "Do Not Track" on your mobile Web browser

Any information that you provide on a website is collected and likely used for advertising purposes. Your phone’s Do Not Track option requests website to stop collecting your data. This feature can be done in Google Chrome browser for Android and Safari on iOS. However, not all websites may conform to this request, though some will adhere to your preference not to collect any data from you.

Tip #3: Avoid answering spam calls

 Call Filter

You would often receive phone calls from telemarketers just to determine if the number will reach an actual person. Once they have confirmed that, your contact number will then be put on a list that is sold to other companies, annoying you with more spam calls or texts. The painful part about it is in the event that you’re not on unlimited plan, you’ll get charged for those unsolicited text messages that you don’t want to receive in the first place.

Instead of answering the call and confirming your number, use a caller ID solution to figure out who is trying to reach you. If you’re on Android, you may want to check out Current Caller ID by Whitepages that will display the caller’s information as a small window on the incoming call screen. For iOS, you can use Truecaller and take a screenshot of the incoming call in order for the app to identify the caller.

Tip #4: Block your phone number when needed

 Phone number blocking

It can be a good idea to enable phone number blocking whenever you make business calls that might collect your number and use it for their profit. Now, in case you don’t want to switch number blocking on and off just for those business calls, you can use Google Voice to call businesses. From here, you can easily block any incoming call that doesn’t exist on your phone book.

Tip #5: Use a trusted recovery app to find your lost or stolen phone

 

Whenever someone realizes that his/her phone is missing, panic sinks in All you could think of is to remember where you last put it or if you have dropped it while stepping out of the car. There are several recovery apps out there for Android and iOS that you can use to help you protect your phone better by locking down its access and allowing you to track it down via GPS.

Tip #6: Add enough contact info in case your phone gets lost

 

It’s also an effective way to help you retrieve a lost phone by adding sufficient contact information that can be used to reach you. For example, you don’t necessarily have to indicate you whole name — you can just probably put your first name and then your last initial, as well as a phone number of a relative or close friend that can be easily contacted about your lost device. Consider it as a pet tag for your Android or iPhone.

Tip #7: Keep it physically secured

 

No matter what security app or phone number blocking you have set on your phone, it’ll all be useless if you’ve been reckless and placed your phone in a compromising spot. Whenever you go to a public place, make sure to make a firm grip of your phone, put it in a tight area like the front pocket of your jeans, or in a deep pocket area of your bag. Also, make it a habit to refrain from displaying your cool device for the whole world to see. You’ll never know when and where these thieves are lurking at.

These are just simple, but often neglected ways that will greatly help you in keeping your smartphone, as well as your other devices, safe from harm and theft. After all, it’s quite a painful experience to lose something you’ve worked hard for, not to mention all those valuable information and contacts that go along with it. So make a move before it’s too late.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 10:22:55 PM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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