Supreme Smartphone Security Guide To Protect Your Privacy

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Secure Your Android Or iOS Devices and Enhance Your Privacy

The most efficient devices on the planet on which we have to rely on all day-and-night regularly are noting else but our smartphones. It’s impossible to imagine a world without them, no pandemic or any other critical disaster can ever take over such technologies. A personal smartphone is like a report card, one can know more about yourself by just understanding the actions that you perform on your device, which makes smartphone security a pretty big deal.

Our online activities reveal a lot about our self persona. Today we are going to provide you a complete how-to secure your smartphone (both android and iOS covered) guide including all the possible tweaks and settings you can do to anonymize your identity from everyone.

The guide has been broken down into three sections but it’s highly recommended to start from the basic all the way to the advanced:

  1. Must-Have Security Measures
  2. Intermediate Security Measures
  3. Advanced Protection

Must-Have Security Measures

Google Find My Device

An online service from Google to trace and locate your android devices. Gives the ability to remotely erase the data just in case you accidentally lost your device.

Enable Phone Encryption

When phone encryption is turned, it transforms the data into a haphazard collection of characters and can only be reversed if you have the decryption key. Here is the way to encrypt your device:

Android

  • Plug the phone into charging.
  • Make sure a PIN or Pattern is already activated.
  • Goto Settings > Security > Encrypt Phone.

iPhone

  • Goto Setting > Touch ID & Passcode.
  • Check Turn Passcode On is checked on.
  • Press Passcode options to choose a strong passcode.
  • Check you are having Data protection is enabled a message at the end of the screen.

Encrypt the SD Card from settings as well for enhancing the encryption.

Application Firewall

Many applications make unwanted requests to their server and exchange some data behind the running apps (as application services that runs in the background) without you ever getting informed. This could easily be stopped by using an application firewall service. A firewall monitors and controls all the exchanged internet traffic packets along with some security protocols. Some of the firewalls can consider installing are:

Android

Use the NetGuard no-root firewall application.

iOS

Use the Lockdown application firewall to block tracking ads and monitor wireless traffic requests.

By using an application firewall, you can allow internet access only to a certain number of applications to enhance your device’s overall security.

Enable 2 Factor Authentication

Enable two-factor authentication on your Google account or Apple ID. For a time-based one-time-password, use a password generator application such as FreeOTP or Google Authenticator as they implement HOTP and TOTP standards.

Always make sure you have some offline backup authentication in case you lose your device. Two good ways to do this is by:

  • Generating and securely backing up recovery codes at a very secure medium.
  • Make use of an offline USB Security Token.

To generate a strong lengthy enough password make use of an online tool such as Strong Passwords Generator or LastPass Password Generator.

Intermediate Security Measures

Setup Auto Update and Install

Most of the exploits are made possible just because of outdated software. In nearly all cases, hackers can run a piece of malicious code on your devices just because of an outdated framework. It’s recommended to set your device to download and install future updates automatically without you having to take your time off.

Assure to reboot your device often, at least weekly, the malicious programs are sometimes made to execute in the memory of the device (whether from an application or a website), without you even perceiving and rebooting your device can easily help you stop that.

The Applications On Your Device

The applications are the main workstations that allow you to perform all the actions. Many times we almost forget about an app that we installed a long time back, and we don’t even wanna think to sigh about that, (Alas! we have a lot of other work to do!).
Here is a short checklist that you should be looking over biweekly:

  1. Never download applications from unknown sources.
  2. Always check Google Play Protection is enabled and no other application is blocking it.
  3. Clear the clutter of applications you are currently not using. (In case you visit an online service very often, check whether they offer Progressive Web Application PWAs to access their service).
  4. Have a periodic check on the device’s background running services. On condition, if you find a suspicious service, don’t even think twice to kill it straight away.
  5. Review application permissions.

Advanced Protection

Limit Cloud Storage

When you are making use of cloud storage, you are in control of the company. They can at any time, check your files and other information attached to your account. Completely putting an end to using the cloud hosting services such as Google Drive, OneDrive, or iCloud is limiting the usage is completely possible.

At the time of uploading something on the cloud ensure to follow these steps:

  • Encrypt all the data by using services such as CryptoMatter.
  • Never upload files with their actual extension, always first encrypt then push to cloud.

Opt-Out From Personalized Advertising

When we are using all the free services, most of the time we don’t have to pay for anything to use them. Such as doing a free Google search or watching your favorite creator’s video on YouTube and the reason for that is self-explanatory, ain’t it? When you are not paying for the service you are the product.

These companies such as Google or Facebook collect our info to show us more relevant ads which are a big jinx to our privacy. Turn off personalized advertising from here Google or Facebook.

The Warriors Of The Web (Browsers)

Browsers are operating systems running on top of the operating system. With web getting more dynamic each year, browsers are constantly allowing more piece of work to be done completely on them (don’t believe me? There is a legit working OS build on top of a browser, check OS.js).

With this much brilliance this is quite possible that your browser is releasing some of your data into the wrong hands becoming jeopardy to your privacy. Follow these steps:

  1. Make a check on cookies and clear those left by unknown or lesser-visited sites. For that, fire up your browser and then Settings > Site Settings > Cookies.
  2. Set your default search engine to DuckDuckGo.
  3. Turn JavaScript completely off while doing some basic searches.

Or Swap Your Browser Completely

Android

Make use of the Bromite browser and don’t forget to use DNS over HTTPS for more privacy.

iOS

Use Brave browser has many security tweaks pre-built in.

The Last Words

Excellent! We covered a lot together! Now is the time to go and implement all these settings and changes in your smartphone(s) to enhance your privacy to a greater degree. Download a summary PDF here (Coming soon).

- Medium-

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