Mobile Data Security: How to Protect Your Data

By Sydney Wess / 5 October 2021

Your information is valuable, and cybercriminals can identify security vulnerabilities easily to target your data. That’s why it’s essential to thoroughly protect your information through mobile data security. 

Experts believe that there is a cybersecurity attack every 39 seconds on average. Individuals and even enterprise-level companies have fallen victim to security breaches, leaks, and data loss

Considering the significant threat, it’s important to take decisive actions to prevent attacks and protect your mobile data. Luckily, there are many simple steps you can take to ensure that your information is safe. Here are some recommended mobile data security options.

Mobile Data Security Tips

  1. Use strong passwords and update them regularly
  2. Try a VPN
  3. Avoid unprotected WiFi networks
  4. Keep your software updated  

This article will highlight each preventive step and its associated benefits to protect mobile data. 

1. Keep Strong, Updated Passwords

Following password best practices is a great first step to secure your mobile data. 

It’s likely that you’re already managing and updating passwords you access via mobile devices. However, there are several steps you can take to ensure your passwords are strong. 

For instance, you may want to consider using longer passwords than what is required. Similarly, you can make a password stronger by including a wide variety of characters, numbers, and symbols. Password generators are a great tool for creating a strong password. 

Random password generator tool

Source: Random Password Generator

As a rule of thumb, reusing and recycling old passwords is something to stay away from. Using old passwords or the same password across multiple accounts may make you an easier target for cyber attacks.

Additionally, while it may seem convenient to text or email passwords at times, experts advise that you avoid sending passwords to anyone. Even if the recipient is trustworthy, you’re further exposing your information to hackers. 

Keeping passwords strong and updated while avoiding common pitfalls can be tough. However, there are plenty of tools and password managers that can help you prioritize safety without sacrificing convenience.

2. Try a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) is immensely helpful to those looking to better protect their data. A VPN uses a secure server connection to hide your IP address and encrypts all of your information while online. 

VPNs function effectively on public WiFi networks as well, making remote work or internet browsing simple and safe. Even on public networks, your passwords, searches, and personal information aren’t reachable by cybercriminals with a VPN.

Not only does a VPN protect your data from cyber attacks, it also shields your online identity from apps, service providers, and even the government. This adds a consistent and reliable layer of privacy to your internet use. 

Further, setting up a VPN is quick and easy. They can be downloaded and installed in a matter of minutes, making them an accessible choice for any user.  

3. Avoid Unprotected WiFi Networks

While VPNs allow users to use unprotected networks, it is a best practice to avoid public WiFi networks if possible. Public networks are prime locations for hackers to access and damage your data. 

Public networks are set up to be convenient and help users access their data online at any place at any time. However, because of the public nature of these WiFi networks, it’s relatively common for them to be the site of cyberattacks. 

Particularly, public WiFi networks are dangerous because they don’t use any encryption to protect users and can be readily accessed by anyone. This puts users at risk for a variety of dangers including the following:

  • Theft: personal or business information could be stolen from you 
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks: hackers disguise a public network and access your information once you log in 
  • Packet sniffing: hackers use tools to view everything you’re doing on the network that isn’t encrypted 
  • Malware: hackers may distribute viruses, worms, or trojan horses onto your device  

Staying away from public, unencrypted WiFi networks greatly reduces the risk of each of these dangers. 

4. Download Legitimate Software Updates

There are plenty of benefits to updating your software. These include new features and elevated user experience that better represent our modern times. 

However, keeping your software updated can also help keep your information protected. It may be tempting to skip over software updates because they can take time and storage space. To some, they may just seem like an extra, unnecessary step. 

Software updates are actually some of the best things to do for data protection. Typically, along with other upgrades within the software, an update addresses vulnerabilities that may expose users to cyber threats.

Especially on mobile devices, it’s common to be using a multitude of applications, all with their own occasional software updates. Because of this, the idea of staying on top of every single update can be daunting. That’s okay! It may be best for you to prioritize which software updates to download in this case. 

When making updates to software, it’s very important to ensure that you’re downloading exactly what you think you are. Hackers and cybercriminals often try to lure in victims with fake “download” buttons that install malware rather than a software update.

You can spot these suspicious links by hovering your mouse over the button and examining the link. If anything looks out of place, there’s a chance you can’t trust the link.  

Be discerning when updating your software and make sure that you’re staying up to date with your most pressing software updates.

Mobile Data Security Should Be Taken Seriously

Whether you’re protecting personal or corporate information, data safety is critical to keeping information secure. 

While the threat of cyber attacks is legitimate, there are plenty of measures to take that effectively protect your data. So long as you stay vigilant, mobile data protection is well within your grasp. 

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