There are numerous way that bad actors can track your online usage. If you have ever clicked on an ad and then keep seeing the same ads following you around that is a very popular technique. Many people will put it off to just simple coincidence, but in reality it is far from that. All you have to do sometimes is visit a site and they have you.
This is bad enough on your computer at home but it gets even more creepy when they target your phone.
For the most part legit businesses target you and your surfing habits to make sales to you. This is marketing. Unfortunately people with bad intentions also use these same methods as do website owners who feel they can scare you into buying something from them. This may be in the form of a pop up window telling you that your device is infected.
Often they will sound a warning siren and even give you a countdown telling you to not close the window and that you need to click on the button to remove the virus or malware. Don’t fall for it. If you do you will likely only be installing exactly what you are trying to get rid of. Close the browsers you have open and install a security app.
There is a simple and effective way to protect your phone however. Install security software or apps. I personally would suggest first checking out what your wireless carrier has to offer. Quite often you can get a security package for free or a few dollars a month added to your monthly bill.
If your carrier does not offer a security service then you can check Google Play Store for a suitable app. You can also try the standard AV/AM providers such as Norton, McAfee, BitDefender or others. Just make sure you do your homework and you will be safer and happier.
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Your cell phone is a very powerful device. It has the ability to take high resolution pictures, browse the internet, socialize on Facebook, give you turn by turn directions and even make video calls. You can message your friends and family, play games, read books and the list goes on. They are amazing little devices that we really need to secure better. they often store personal information and even payment and banking logins and passwords.
While you are probably more likely to lose your phone than have it getting hacked there are still simple precautions you should take.
First and foremost Lock the Screen. I know it is kind of inconvenient but it can really save you a lot of headaches and possible financial hardship if it is not locked and someone gets hold of your phone.
Only install apps from trusted sources. For android that would be Google Play, the Apple App Store for iPhones and Amazon App store for your Amazon Tablets. Get the picture? Of course you can also download apps from your cell carrier, they are also probably a safe bet.
Do the Updates. Yeah they are a bother but they really do help keep your phone more secure and running smoothly. As a matter of fact you should enable automatic updating. That way it will update when you are not using the device or you can set it for a specific time and you won’t have to worry if you are missing important patches.
Track It! Download and install an app that will allow you to track your device from a home computer over the internet. If your device is ever lost or stolen you will be able to locate the phone or if need be wipe its contents.
Application Privacy options. I recommend carefully reading the privacy statements when downloading any apps. If you are uncomfortable with the flashlight app having access to your contacts, photos and location search for one that will meet your needs without the access issues. Disable location for all apps and then go back and only allow location to be used for apps that absolutely need it., like Driving directions and phone locator.
TURN OFF LOCATION ACCESS to apps like facebook, twitter and other social media apps. If you are posting that you are on a cross country trip and a nefarious character sees it then you are basically letting them know you are out of town and your home is unattended.
Your mobile device is a very powerful part of your life. Make it as secure as possible and use it with care by following these few simple steps.