That dreaded feeling when your heart sinks through the floor as you realise your phone isn’t in your pocket… we’ve all had it – we all hate it. Often it just slipped between some couch cushions or you forgot it in the car, but not always. When you’re out and about on holiday, it becomes even more likely something could go wrong and you may misplace your phone, so rather than run the risk that your information could go missing or could be abused, consider some of our safety tips to make sure your phone and your information stay secure!
1. Set up a Password/Biometric Access
Sure, it’s a pain in the neck to have to input a password or wait to unlock your phone, but should something happen, you’ll wish you’d done it. Luckily, most modern smartphones use fingerprint scanners which unlock the phone increasingly rapidly, but in case yours doesn’t have that option, consider putting a password or swipe pattern in place, at least if you’ll be traveling. Should your phone go walkabouts, it won’t be as easy for someone to simply go through your phone’s contents.
2. Back up your information
It’s easy to lose track of how much new information we store on our phones, because we do it so naturally nowadays. All those new contacts you’ve made, notes you’ve taken, photos and videos of your special occasions over the last while – don’t even take the risk of them disappearing. If you’re using a cloud service, make sure it’s scheduled to at least keep up to date with your calendar and contacts, so you don’t lose track of this information. If you’re skeptical of cloud services, it’s best to manually back up your info every now and then just to make sure you don’t run the risk of losing valuable information or contact details.
3. Beware of Wi-Fi hotspots in public
Sadly, internet crime and personal information theft isn’t just a plotline from a Mission Impossible movie anymore, it’s a reality. South Africa is one of the hotbeds of cyber crime, so we’ve got to be extra vigilant when it comes to sharing any sensitive information in public Wi-Fi areas. If you’re going to use them, it’s best to do so over a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or possibly do mobile bank transactions with a roaming cell network, as they’re more secure. The safest bet, though, is not to do anything remotely sensitive when using a public connection, so keep any financial transactions or info for when you’re using a more secure connection.
4. Get a Case/Screen Protector
If you’re someone who’s sometimes a little too wild with your phone (guilty…) it’s a pretty good idea to prevent catastrophe by just taking the plunge and buying a decent screen protector as well as a case. Many phones these days have complex construction, meaning that repairing damage can take quite a while – a while that you may be without your phone for. Instead of running that risk, spend a little bit of money to make sure it’s as life-proof as possible – check out some retailers and shop for a durable case that will soak up whatever the environment might throw at you.
5. Switch on “find-your-phone” and remote wiping features
A lot of modern smartphones have functions that either allow you to track your phone should you lose it, or that will allow you to wipe its data remotely through the use of an online website or program. In the unfortunate event that your phone is stolen or you do lose it, it’s at least a last-ditch initiative to ensure that you don’t lose a lot of sensitive information like personal details or banking info. Having the ability to (possibly) track it down, or potentially turn it into a blank slate by wiping its contents, is at least some sort of means to an end.