We love our phones, we hate our phones, we can’t live without them and we take them just about everywhere (or is it the other way around?) Despite the fact that our phones are often an easy-access gateway to our Facebook, Twitter, Google accounts, bank records and accounts and much, much more, very few of us take the time to ensure the data on them is safe. Below are five easy ways you can take control and do just that.
Browse Smart, Know Your Tools
Your browsing habits, location,web history and website cookies are tracked and recorded by the sites you visit. The first step you need to take to rectify this is simple, since Safari, which comes on all iPhones, is generally well regarded when it comes to private browsing options. Use private browsing on browser tabs, the smart search field, and bookmark screens. Take a moment to explore the privacy options your browser offers you, understand them, and use them wisely.
Get a VPN
If you’re on the internet, using a VPN is the easiest way to make sure you keep the data you send and receive when browsing, private. Once you connect to the internet via VPN, any information you send will be encrypted, keeping snoops, marketers and government agencies at arms length. You can also ensure your location is private by hiding your IP address on a server located elsewhere in the world, allowing you to effectively browse the internet anonymously. VPN’s also provide additional benefits.
Keep System Toggles and Personal Notifications off Your Lock Screen
If everyone and anyone can access your Passbook, see your messages, use Control Center, access Siri, or see your Notification Center alerts, the Passcode lock on your lock screen does not really do you much good. Quickly adding things to your Notes or Reminders and glancing at incoming messages is really convenient, but you never know what information others might be able to access by allowing this.
Use a Password Manager App on Your Phone
Convenience and security are always butting heads, this is one area where you’ll want to err on the side of caution. Compared to the way they operate on desktop computers, many password managers are not quite as user-friendly on the iPhone as we’d like, but they’re getting better and better all the time. Sacrificing just a little bit of convenience can help you ensure that you always have strong, unique passwords at your fingertips.
Use Two-Step Verification
Layers keep you warm, they’re also a necessary part of any security system. Using two-step verification on your iPhone makes it far more difficult for intruders to get what they’re looking for. With a strong password, you’ve set up the first line of defense, with Touch ID, which uses your fingerprint to ensure that even if you lose your phone, the sensitive data locked away inside remains safe.