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What does a properly secured smartphone look like?

As of October 2015, 68 percent of Americans owned a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center. This number continues to grow, and it shows just how widespread mobile technology has gotten in the past few years. Many people have even reached the point where they can’t imagine their lives without these devices.

However, it’s important to remember that a smartphone is just another computer, which means that it can be hacked. In fact, The Hacker News’ Swati Khandelwal reported that a single vulnerability in Android security affected more than 900 million devices. Clearly, smartphone security has become a major issue for the average consumer.

That said, many people don’t know about some basic security measures they can take to ensure the safety of their gadget. To that end, let’s discuss some ways you can go about better defending your phone.

Password instead of PIN

For the longest time, the only way to secure your phone was through a PIN or with a certain swiping pattern. Both of these are incredibly unsafe. To begin, PINs are generally just four numbers, which can be very easy for a hacker to break. What’s more, swipe patterns can often be identified by following the streaks your fingers leave on your screen.

Therefore, it’s much better to simply secure your phone using an actual password. Most modern phones allow you to do this, and it’s the best way to keep people from physically accessing the data stored on your phone.

Use a password instead of a PIN when you can.Passwords are more secure than simple PINs.

Remote wiping capabilities

Regardless of what you use to keep people from physically opening your smartphone, there’s always a chance that a smart criminal has a way to bypass it. So, it’s your job to make sure that even if you do happen to lose your phone, there won’t be any useful information contained on it. To do this, you’re going to want to invest in remote wiping.

As you can imagine, this service allows you to delete all of the information stored on a particular device if you report it missing or stolen. That way, even if a criminal is able to sidestep your security measures, you don’t have to worry about this person accessing all of your private information. Considering the number of personal pictures and conversations people have on their smartphones these days, this is an invaluable innovation.

“You should consider backing up your information to a separate location.”

On top of that, you’ll also want to consider backing up your information to a separate location. This is just a good habit to get into in general, but it’s also a great way to better secure your information. Not only will you be more willing to simply wipe your device if you can access the data elsewhere, you’ll also be protected from ransomware. This specific piece of malware prevents you from accessing your files until you pay a hefty fine, so being able to simply wipe your device and start over with your backups is a nice option to have.

Robust cyber security measures

While remote wiping is clearly necessary, you’re also going to want to protect yourself against digital attacks. This is going to start with a firewall, which is a technology that monitors your devices’ incoming and outgoing network traffic to determine if anything harmful is being transmitted. By instituting a firewall, you can avoid common viruses and malware.

If you’ve got a younger child, you also might want to consider setting up some parental controls. While these can obviously ensure your little one doesn’t see anything immoral online, it can also actually help protect his or her device. Many sites online carry malware that instantly download when you visit. Most adults have learned to spot these disreputable websites from a mile away, but many kids haven’t. Parental controls can therefore help avoid a problem before it even begins.

With all of this in mind, you’re going to need to find a cyber security software provider that has a track record of excellence. For those in the market, there are few choices better than Total Defense. Our Mobile Security software features remote lock and wipe for when you lose your device, backup and restore, firewall protection, parental controls and more.