6 Dangerous Smartphone Habits You Should Avoid
Using smartphones has become an indispensable part of people’s lives in today’s fast-paced digital age. However, while you may love to keep up with social media updates and incessantly fiddle with your mobile device throughout the day, it’s important to stay alert and be cautious to increase your security online and offline. Here are six common habits you should steer clear of when using your smartphone:
- Connecting to Unsecure Public Wi-Fi Networks
While enjoying a cup of coffee at a nearby cafe, you discover that the shop doesn’t offer free Wi-Fi. Luckily, there’s a free hotspot from an unknown user that you can connect to! Before you press that connect button, think twice on whether the wireless network is actually trustworthy. The last thing you’d want is to have your identity and personal information stolen, especially when you do online banking, by connecting to an unsecure wireless network.
- Carelessly Sharing Your Whereabouts Online
Are you about to go on a much-awaited vacation with your entire family? If you’re leaving your home or apartment empty during a holiday trip, it’s best to avoid announcing your vacation plans on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites. Many burglars today use social networks to choose targets and keep track of their activities. You can start bragging about that gorgeous, perfectly even tan once you’re in the comfort of your home.
- Unwittingly Clicking on Suspicious Links
Millions of unsuspecting online users fall for phishing scams every day. To effectively lure in victims, scammers usually imitate the layout, color scheme, and wording of emails and websites of legitimate companies. What’s worse, smartphone users are at a higher risk because it’s harder to identify phony login pages on mobile websites. Shortened URLs also make it confusing to recognize dangerous web addresses. To improve your online security, avoid clicking on links in emails and text messages or on your social media feed. If you’re not careful enough, you might just get duped by fraudulent scammers that aim to get your password and other personal information.
- Downloading Dangerous Apps
If you’re like most smartphone users, you probably like to download dozens of smartphone apps and games. However, many apps that look harmless can actually access sensitive information stored in your device. Be sure to download trusted apps only from official app stores, such as Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play. Take note of the popup requesting permission to access certain information and services, such as your contact list, text messages, camera, or gallery.
- Using Auto Sign-Ins and Neglecting PINs
Do you like to skip the hassle of re-entering your username and password by using automatic sign-ins? This dangerous smartphone habit can jeopardize your online security, especially if you log in to banking apps and websites. It’s best to avoid auto sign-ins and to use strong PINs to lock your phone and specific apps.
- Leaving Location Services Enabled at All Times
Turning on your location settings is important when using apps such as Google Maps. However, make sure to turn off your location services when not in use to prevent potential unwanted tracking. Also, avoid uploading photos online while your location is enabled if you want to maintain your privacy.
To safeguard your phone further, download reliable antivirus software and perform regular scans. When you practice extra caution and follow the steps above, you’ll have better peace of mind that your security is not compromised.