Technology has enabled this generation to essentially run and organize their lives literally in the palm of their hands through an amazing technological wonder known as a smartphone. They have become such an intricate part of our lives that it’s hard to remember life without them, which, in reality, was only a few short years ago.
The abilities of smartphones has matched and even exceeded that of what many computers were capable of just a few years back. Owning such a powerful device is an enormous responsibility that cannot be overlooked by phone owners. With our phones having access to literally all of our important data, from banking accounts all the way down to wifi passwords and even our physical location – should we be more concerned than we are? Furthermore, with digital currencies like Bitcoin and online wallets from Google and Paypal, your phone has access to more than a fair share of your income at any moment that it’s powered on.
What happens when your phone gets hacked or perhaps it ends up in the wrong hands? Identity theft is an all too common occurrence in the developed world – affecting millions of individuals each year. Since our phones have become so important, it’s time to protect ourselves by making sure that the data in those devices is secure for the right eyes only.
How bad are mobile viruses?
When most people think of viruses they attach the word “computers” first. The days of computer viruses being the sole concern for identity theft are over as the majority of people use their phones more and more, and their computers less and less. Hackers are well aware of this and have begun targeting viruses, malware and trojans towards mobile platforms like Android and IOS.
Even your once invincible Macs are getting hit with more frequency and severity today. The point is simple – any internet connected device is a target for hackers. While most people can get by completely without a hitch, it’s always better to be overly cautious rather than sorry later. Filmmakers are even catching on to this trend with great movies like Disconnect, which beautifully illustrates the potential horrors that being too tech dependent can cause.
Remembering the old days
The good old times with the classic devices like bag phones (anyone remember how ugly those things were!?) and flip phones are just about a thing of the past. Carriers encourage everyone to switch to smartphones because they make more money off of them. That’s why the best deals on phones are usually the higher end super phones.
Take control of your technology
As fun as modern technology is, it remains a danger if left unchecked. Leaving things up to chance when your identity and bank accounts are concerned is never a wise move, so be proactive and protect yourself by taking the safeguards necessary to keep your phone’s data secure. You should be backing up your important information frequently, so if your phone is ever lost or stolen you can remotely erase and/or lock it with the push of a button. If you are using your phone on wifi, make sure it is a password protected network, just as you would on a PC at home.
Most Android and IOS devices also let you track a missing phone which is a huge help, and additionally, most major antivirus software companies now have developed mobile versions, which you should be installing as soon as you’re finished reading this article if you haven’t already. If you want to stay off the grid, or at least try to, there are some options for a simple cellphone out there – you just have to know where to look.
With all of these in views, I’d ask again, how safe is your smartphone?
Audrey Thompson is a freelance writer working on behalf of the fasts.org.
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