It’s difficult to quantify how much data we carry around in our pockets. The combined volume of device and cloud storage gives us almost limitless capacity to store information, which can be both a blessing and a curse. While you’re now able to hold onto your favourite memories and access personal documents with one tap, it’s becoming clear that you could be a sitting duck to hackers if you don’t follow sensible security practices.

Hackers are always looking for chinks in your armour and it is essential that you close as many of them as you can. Maintaining good phone security is essential in the digital age and knowing what hackers are looking for helps you to keep one step ahead at all times.

What are they looking for?

Our cell phones have become more like portable filing systems, storing everything from family photos and music libraries to banking details and health records. As we spend more time online, we give away more of ourselves, which becomes prime real estate for hackers who will exploit any information they can get. So, what mistakes are they looking for?

Weak passcodes

Rather than accessing your phone remotely, often a hacker will need physical access to your phone in order to hack it. As a result, your passcode is the first line of defence for your phone against hackers. Having a weak password means that you are vulnerable to attack, especially from spyware or stalkerware.

Human error

When hackers are trying to access your phone remotely, they often rely on human error and a lack of knowledge around cybersecurity best practice. Phishing scams for example rely on you clicking a malicious link and inputting your personal information for them to steal, or perhaps you have inadvertently given away answers to your security questions on a Facebook quiz.

Unprotected devices

Hackers are always looking for the easiest way to achieve their ends. Ideally, they are looking for the lowest hanging fruit that they can. Unprotected devices, such as those with out-of-date software or no anti-malware protection are a tantalising prospect for hackers who want to be able to steal information quickly and easily.

How can you solve this?

Once you know how hackers operate and what they are looking for on your device, it is relatively easy to protect yourself. Here are some simple steps you can implement straight away:

Enable biometric security

A great way to improve your security quickly, especially when it comes to the type of hacks that need physical access, is to implement a biometric security function such as facial recognition or fingerprint scanning. By locking your phone and other important data with biometric security you immediately make your device much harder to access.

Install a mobile security app

Mobile security apps can help you detect any malicious apps that may already be installed, remove them from the device and stop hackers from accessing the phone in the future. There are a range of apps available across the official app stores, including our own Certo Mobile Security. From a security perspective it is important to note, Android apps are allowed to implement a virus scan on your device. For iPhone users, iOS security apps aren’t allowed to do a virus scan, but Certo AntiSpy can conduct a complete scan using your computer to identify and eradicate iOS security threats.

iPhone malware scan
iPhone malware scan
Android malware scan
Android malware scan

Keep your operating system up to date

Most cell phone malware, spyware or stalkerware relies on being able to find ways around the security on your device by exploiting chinks in the armour, which is often as a result of outdated firmware. New updates are regularly rolled out to patch vulnerabilities so by maintaining the latest version of software on your device, it helps you to stay protected against this type of attack.

Use two-factor authentication

A great way to keep not only your device protected but also any of your cloud accounts is two-factor authentication. When you enable two-factor authentication it requires you to input both your usual login password AND another form of verification for example a code sent via SMS. This allows you to prevent someone accessing information stored on your cloud accounts, even if they know your credentials. For cell phone users it is really important that you protect your cloud accounts as it will often contain a complete backup of your device that hackers can use to steal your information.

Hackers are always looking for easy targets. By implementing these simple steps, you become an unappealing target and deter hackers from your device. It is important to protect yourself from both physical and digital attacks and keep up to date with new advice so you can remain one step ahead of cybercriminals.