Android and iOS seal themselves off better than Windows and you can’t do much to the system without jailbreaking it. But this does not mean that your mobile phone is anywhere near being hack proof. We show how you can secure your mobile phone and protect private data in a few steps.
Security lapses occur every day on all systems, but a real Big Bang that exploits these lapses only occurs every few months. In May 2017, the biggest ransomware attack was
the WannaCry, which took Windows computers as hostages.
This caused some chaos, but what would have happened if the attack had rendered millions of mobile phones unusable? It should not be allowed to go that far – Android and iOS should be made hack proof as soon as possible.
If you had to take away one message from this article, it should be: Never turn a blind eye when it comes to Smartphone security. Despite monitoring by intelligence services and industry, as well as security lapses in Apps and operating systems, not everything is
bleak. You can certainly do something for mobile phone security and the protection of your privacy. Here are tips on how you can secure Android and iOS.
Trustworthy app sources:-
When it comes to the theme of security, there are a couple of basic differences between a Windows PC and a Smartphone. One important difference is the provision of software, as most of the lapses by far are found in tools by third-party providers. Both Android and iOS rely on the connection of official App stores. What is incorporated in these App stores is decided by Apple and Google. For Apple, an expert team verifies all submitted Apps before they are activated in the App store, and these Apps practically do not have any system rights under iOS. As far as possible, the inclusion of new Apps takes place automatically for Google, and Android Apps can move freely in the system.
The connection to an App store alone does not guarantee that all Apps are always absolutely clean. It does, however, strongly restrict the scope of an attack. Thus, our suggestion is to only use the big App Stores. iOS users do not have a choice anyway, except for those who jailbreak, which would not be advisable.
Under Android, the system for additional App sources apart from the Store, can be opened in the “Settings” under “Security”. If you do not need it, limit yourself to the Play Store. Should there be an App anyway, which you come across while sideloading, verify the source at least twice.
Updates for apps and operating system:-
You must ensure that you always use the latest versions of your Apps and the operating system. Not because you should try out all the latest features immediately, but rather because important patches are almost always found in the updates, which close the security lapses.
For automatic updates, iPhone users activate the “Updates” control in the “Settings” under “iTunes & App Store”. The updates are automatically loaded and installed if you have WiFi connection. You don’t need to do much for iOS updates, because Apple has already preset everything so that updates are received in the background, but a WiFi connection is required for that to happen. The user is informed of a pop-up after successful download. You can either “Install” it immediately or click on “Later” and then let the installation complete overnight. An alternative is via “Settings l General l
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One issue with Android is that there are many different manufacturers and devices that delay Android updates for months.
In the worse cases, some devices don’t even receive any updates after a long time. This makes it even more critical for updates to be installed as soon as they are available. To do that, go to “Settings l via the Smartphone l system updates”. Many manufacturers install
an automatic update system at this point, which you can enable or disable via the option “Automatic updates”. Just like for OS, Android system and app updates can be set to load automatically. This can be done via the menu option “Settings”, in which you select ”Allow automatic App updates only via WIFI” under ”Automatic App Updates”.
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Block access to the smartphone
The access security directly on the Smartphone is also very important for Android and iOS, as hackers could get physical access to the device and tamper with it when you’re not paying attention.
iOS: The iPhone can be unlocked with a PIN or with fingerprints. You can link the system and fingerprint in the “Settings” under “Touch ID & Code”. Despite this, iOS asks for the PIN code from time to time.
Even the PIN should be hard to crack, since it can only be created or changed via the “Code options”. An individual numerical code is a good choice, since you can still create a lengthy one but not be forced to remember an overly complicated password.
Android: Regarding access security, Android is more versatile than iOS. Not every device offers biometric unlocking, such as Nexus 6P (fingerprint) or the Galaxy S8 (Iris). The options for your device are displayed in the “Settings” under “Security” and “Device security” in the “Screen lock” field. Choose from “Pattern”, “PIN” and “Password”, whichever is most comfortable for you in practice.
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Using their crack tools, data thieves can also break into locked phones. If the data is securely encrypted, this attack can immediately be curbed again. For this reason, it is advisable to activate complete encryption on your smartphone.
iOS: The good news for iPhone users is that your data is encrypted on the device with AES-256 by default, if users have configured access protection. Thus, you don’t need to undertake any extra steps for the encryption.
Android: Only a few users get to enjoy automatic encryption and Android does not encrypt most devices, although the system has installed the required function. The main reason may be that encryption affects performance. In our experience, however, the loss
is within reasonable limits. To enable encryption on your phone, go to the “Security” option under “Settings”. Here, you will find the option “Encryption”, where you can encrypt the device at the tap of your finger. However, note that while the Android encryption is fairly easy to activate, the deactivation does not take place without loss of
some data. Due to that reason, it would be prudent to create a backup beforehand.
Secure Apple and Google account:-
Hackers love to work in the background and, if possible, on a huge scale. Why hack just an iPhone when they can access the iPhone, maybe even a linked iPad and a MacBook using an Apple ID? The same applies for Android devices, which are almost always linked to a Google account. Thus, the next important thing to do is secure your Apple ID or Google account as much as possible.
iOS: For this purpose, iPhone users need to go to the site at appleid. apple.com on a PC or Mac and login with their Apple ID.
In the “Security” field, assign a strong password and make sure to enable the “two-factor authentication”. The one-time code for future logins is then displayed on all Apple devices, which are linked to the Apple ID. Alternatively, Apple also sends codes via SMS.
Android: Google also offers two-factor authentication in order to secure user accounts. You can activate it under https://myaccount.google.com./security by clicking on the option “Confirmation in two steps”. This requires an Authentication App on the smartphone.
In case your Smartphone gets lost, Android and iOS offer tracking functions. An important prerequisite for them is that you must allow tracking in advance, so that you are prepared in the event of an emergency. If you have not done so, it is advisable to activate the function.
iOS: For Apple, the tracking takes place via iCloud. The particular details can be found under “Settings”, right at the top. Here, type “iCloud” and activate “Look for my iPhone” option by clicking on “On”. Your iPhone will then be tracked via the website icloud.com.
Android: Navigate to the “Security” option in the “Google settings”. Here, enable the “Track device remotely” function. You can also enable “Lock and delete remotely” her. For tracking an Android Smartphone, simply type “Track Smartphone” in Google search box. Google then superimposes a snippet, where you can click “Start now”. However, this works only if you are logged in with the same Google account in the browser.
VPN for secure surfing on hotspot:-
Data plans are becoming increasingly cheaper and are often valid in almost any country. Despite that, the use of WiFi hotspots is still widespread; after all, there’s no speed restrictions with many of such connections. A big disadvantage of hotspots, however, is that they are open to data espionage, be it by spying on unencrypted connections or via Man-in-the-middle attacks. Therefore, a VPN App that encrypts surfing data is important. You can choose from several options such as Opera VPN, which is especially easy to use and does not have a data limit. It is available for Android and iOS, so you can get the App from the Apple or Google App stores and install them. As for iOS, Opera VPN engages as a VPN profile, which you can activate via “Settings l VPS”.
Increase data protection:-
Android and iOS offer comprehensive data protection settings, so you can readjust the protection of your privacy.
iOS: Apple highlights the location services in “Settings l Data protection” at the very top. You can disable it centrally or type “Location services” and then control the access via the App. Here, you can determine further App rights, such as which programmes may have access to the microphone or the camera. For example, under “Analysis” and “Promotion”, you can choose to “Share iPhone analysis” or activate “No Ad tracking”.
Android: Here, the data protection options are spread over in the “Settings”. From Android 6.0 onwards, you can specifically readjust the authorisations of Apps via the option “Apps”. What’s more, the App overview allows you to simply disable System Apps, in which you select the respective App and click on “Deactivate”. In addition, the menu option “Location” lists Apps with access to your current location. For the location route, Android offers a central enable/ disable option. Also of importance for Android are the settings of the Google account and the services linked to it in the background.
Normally, you can determine these under “Settings l Google”. In some devices, you can also find this option in the sub-menu “Account”. Here, watch out for the menu options “Personal data & privacy” as well as “Account settings”. Unfortunately, there is no
patent formula for security.
Free Apps for security
Authy :- For the protection of Apple and Google accounts (see Point 5 in the body text), we advise using two-factor authentication. With 2FA, a one-time code, which is generated by an App on your Smartphone, is required along with your password to login. Authy is one such App for Android and iOS, which you could also use to secure Facebook, Twitter and other websites.
Basically, there are two types of password Apps. One is synchronised via central servers, such as the LastPass service. The other works with a local database. We strongly recommend the local variant and a suitable App for it such as KeePassDroid (Android) or MiniKeePass (iOS).
There are many secure chat Apps with encryption, and Whatsapp, which is used by most people on their Smartphone, is not a bad choice at all. The Electronic Frontier Foundation,
however, doesn’t think highly of it. It considers the Whatsapp code not open and cannot be reviewed by an independent body. Those who would still like to chat can use Signal.
Google provides virus scanner
Should a virus scanner on a smartphone be updated? This question doesn’t apply for iOS, because Apple doesn’t permit virus scanners. But Android devices have virus protection called Google Play Protect, which can be added to Android devices via the Play Store App. It consists of the following three components.
Google always scans Apps for malware, but not only does it run unnoticed in the background, users can also monitor the process and test Apps for harmful components at the touch of a finger. The device is not heavily stressed in the process, since Google falls back on its Cloud servers for this. 50 billion Apps are scanned every day using this
method and in doing so, an algorithm studies the behavior of the App round the clock and works hard to trace malware quickly.
Locate mobile phone:-
Google Play Protect does more than search for harmful Apps. Like the Android virus scanners by third-party providers, this is only one of many functions. It can also provide the last known position of lost Android devices.
Surf protection for Chrome:-
As a third component, Google Play Protect also includes the surf protection “Google Safe Browsing” in Chrome, which is used even by the Desktop browsers. It blocks infected websites while surfing.
Hope my article “How To Hack Proof Your Mobile” helps you to Hack Proof your mobile. If you have any query, feel free to comment.