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5 Practical Tips to Keep Your Smartphone Safe Inside and Out

It can be said that when it comes to the smart phone, Philippines’ consumers are among the most obsessed. You can see this in the number of value-for-money offers from smartphone dealers, as well as the amount of hype surrounding the latest models even before they arrive.

In addition, smartphones can cost thousands of pesos; indeed, flagship models are easily worth Php50,000 or higher. They can also serve multiple purposes—i.e., work and communications, plus entertainment.

Thus, it’s only logical to want to make the most of your investment by keeping it safe and secure for its entire lifespan. Here are some simple tips to get you started, which are also applicable when you buy a tablet:

Set Up a Strong PIN/Password

Obviously, you don’t want your phone to be lost or stolen. However, should the unwanted happen, you want to make it difficult for anyone to break into your device. You can do this by setting up a strong PIN or password for the lock screen. The most important thing to remember is to avoid things like “1234” or “password,” which are easy to guess and therefore offer little to no security.

You can also use pattern locks, since these are more difficult to hack or guess. Additionally, you should activate your phone’s biometric log-in and two-factor authentication (2FA). This can protect against unauthorized access, as well as fraudulent financial transactions.

Always Update the OS

Depending on your phone’s operating system and existing bugs, you’ll usually receive major updates once a year and minor upgrades every two to three months. These updates help improve your phone’s performance and safety, especially since there are always new threats being developed by hackers and cybercriminals.

Many phones have an auto-update feature, which will automatically download software updates as long as you’re connected to a trusted WiFi network. You can also choose the time to download. For example, you can set it when you’re asleep so that it won’t disrupt your usual routine. Then, once you wake up, all you have to do is enter your password to finalize the installation of the OS update.

If you aren’t sure if your device is auto-updating, go to the “Settings” menu, tap “About Device” or its equivalent, then tap “Software Update” to choose the automatic download. Some phones may also have a direct menu option for OS updates.

Connect Only to Secure WiFi

Speaking of downloading files and other forms of digital information exchange, like bank transfers or online shopping, you should only conduct them using a secure WiFi connection. While smartphones are essentially designed for staying online, no matter where you are, you should be careful about using free WiFi networks which may or may not be as secure. Don’t risk it, even if it means you can save a bit of money on mobile data.

If you really must use an unsecured connection, use a VPN or virtual private network. This will at least keep your information masked from would-be attackers.

Backup Your Files

Nowadays, smartphones have a LOT of built-in storage. It’s quite common to see low-end and mid-range phones have 128GB of storage, that could be further expanded using a micro-SD card. As such, many of us have become creatures of habit and gotten used to saving everything to our phones. From photos to documents, there are literally hundreds or even thousands of files on our devices.

The problem with this, of course, is that it can only take one problem to wipe everything out. If you don’t have any backups, all of your files will be gone in a snap.

To save yourself from the trouble (and heartbreak), make it a habit to make a backup of your files regularly. Aside from auto-syncing to the cloud, you can also create offline backups using flash drives or external hard drives. If you have limited space, prioritize the most important files. The bottom line is: the more backups you have, the surer you are that you won’t lose your data.

(As an added convenience, having a backup of your files will make switching to a new phone more convenient.)

Get a Good Protective Case

All previously discussed tips are for your phone’s inner workings. This last one is for its exterior: get a good case. Even if you’re the most careful individual in the world, you’ll probably drop your smartphone by accident at least once in your life. If you’re lucky, your phone will get a little scratched. If not, a cracked screen will be the least of your problems.

All of this is to say that a protective case can help protect your phone from bumps, shocks, and scrapes. With a good case, you can prevent these kinds of damage to your phone. If you want, you can also install a screen protector. Do note, however, that most smartphone screens nowadays are made from high-quality glass that’s more resistant to scratches. Prioritize a case of a screen protector if you have to choose between the two.

For your security, and therefore your peace of mind, make sure to follow these tips to keep your smartphone safe.