Early New Year Resolutions – Trying to be Smartphone Safe

As you’ll know, I tend to walk around without a case on my phone. Handsets like the new Mi 8 Pro, from Xiaomi, have some really cool design elements that would be a shame to hide. I still, then, tend to walk around with the phone lacking any sort of protection.

Inside the phone, I don’t have a great deal of protection either. That’s another mistake I guess, because everything is in there. Private pictures, videos, my address, even the address and phone numbers of family and friends. It’s all there, and because I’m not a massive fan of fingerprint sensors or PIN numbers, it’s all too easy for someone to access them.

My New Year resolution is to change. One of the most basic defenses your mobile phone will have is a PIN, keylock code or pattern, or that fingerprint. Right now, if my phone is left unattended, lost or has been stolen, the person with the handset can cause all kinds of problems for me.

Sure, you should have some security set, but I know that – even when I do try and stick to my New Years resolution, I’ll end up being lazy and using a PIN of “1234” or “0000”.

Once I’ve done all that, I also have to listen to my own advice about installing applications. There’s millions of apps out there, but if you get apps from the wrong place or you’re lured by illicit download sites offering paid-for apps for free, you can end up infecting your phone with malware.

Even though I always stick to Google Play on Android, I still tend to fly past the screen telling me what permissions the app will have. It’s because, by the time you’ve found the app you want, you just want it installed, and to hell with anything else. None of us are online masters in cybersecurity, but we have to ensure that we’re being careful and we’re checking what is being installed. After all, it’s your phone and you want it to behave well. No pop-ups or unsavory messages appearing when you’re doing something else. I get those apps with messages telling me about “free coins” in the middle of the night. Annoying!

Another thing I need to do more of is backing up my phone and my data. I lost my phone recently and I’d not backed it up for a while, so a lot of photos got lost. You can back these up, and you can also backup all of the applications, contacts and so much more into the mighty Google cloud on Android.

Oh, and I’m also going to try to go to the gym a bit more. That, though, could prove the hardest resolution to keep!