Six tips on protecting the personal information stored on your mobile phone

For millions of people, smartphones act as a lifeline, helping us manage our day-to-day activities, keeping us connected to friends, family and colleagues no matter where we are in the world.

However, thanks to modern technology smartphones allow us to store everything on our phones from online banking details and medical information to pictures and confidential information. So it’s understandable that many might be concerned about ensuring total protection of personal information should a phone be lost, stolen, or fall into the wrong hands. 

Below, in conjunction with the tech experts at Likewize Repair, we outline some of the simple steps smartphone users can take to ensure that they are protecting their personal information and data as thoroughly as possible and give peace of mind: 

Pick strong and unique passwords for important accounts 

As tempting as it may be to use the same familiar password across the different accounts accessible via your smartphone, it’s also one of the biggest mistakes you can make in terms of leaving your valuable or personal information available for others to hack into or access. 

Using information personal to you that anyone can easily research for your passwords, such as your pet’s name, birthday, address or mother’s maiden name, makes it so much easier for those knowledgeable in hacking into accounts to gain access to ‘secured’ apps on your phone.

By ensuring passwords for accounts that hold sensitive information or data contain a complicated combination of upper and lower case letters, random numbers and special characters, you stand the best chance of keeping accounts safe.

You’d also be surprised how many people keep a track of the passwords they are using on their notes app which can be easily located. Instead of this risky option, create a secure list of all your passwords on a site such as NordPass or Dashlane. 

Always activate two-factor authentication

Opting for an extra security step for online apps or websites you regularly visit on your phone will not only add extra peace of mind that your information is safe, but it will also act as a further deterrent for any thieves attempting to gain access. 

Two-factor authentication systems are put in place for you to have to prove your identity and that you are who you say you are every time you log into a website or app. Different types of these authentications include uploading your fingerprints, using a unique text code sent to your mobile before logging in, or being called by a company to check you are the person attempting to access a site. 

Be wary of using public WiFi 

If you’re running low on data allowance, accessing free public WiFi networks in such places as coffee shops, libraries and airports can allow you to continue to access the internet without the risk of being charged extra money, but they do pose an additional security risk. 

Smart mobile phone hackers have the ability to intercept logins, passwords and even financial information you have stored on your phone when you are logged into a public WiFi hotspot, so it’s much safer to use your 4G or 5G connection when making a payment or checking your bank account whilst out and about. 

Be cautious of the apps you’re downloading

Certain illegitimate apps that are hosted on websites or third-party app stores run the risk of containing malware that has the potential to access your phone data once downloaded to your device. 

In order to keep your phone as secure as possible, be sure that you are only downloading trusted and secure apps from official stores such as the App Store, Google Play or the App Gallery. 

Turn off any auto-login permissions 

It might be the easiest way to save you time when accessing sites you regularly visit, but by opting into ‘auto-login’ you are making it extremely easy for unwanted visitors to access your personal accounts and subsequent personal information. Those extra few seconds of inputting the unique password each time you visit a site could save you a lot of hassle and worry in the future. 

Use the facial recognition settings on your device 

To add another layer of protection to confidential or data-sensitive apps on your mobile phone, facial recognition is certainly something that every smartphone user should be taking advantage of. 

It’s important to remember that even with the most advanced of modern technology, there are certain vulnerabilities with facial recognition software.

For example, some phones will unlock with only a photograph of the device owner, whilst others with siblings who closely resemble them have also been able to open each other phones using their own faces. It’s therefore important to ensure that passwords are used alongside facial recognition. 


Chris Price