Hello Everyone,

Just a few years ago, cell phone security was the last thing on most users’ minds. But today, keeping your data secure on your smartphones is just as critical as securing your desktop and laptop computers.

Perhaps even more so, given the many tasks people carry out on their mobile devices – often on public, unsecured Wi-Fi networks. For instance, handling banking via your smartphone on a public Wi-Fi network can leave your personal data vulnerable to attack, leading to identity theft, stolen credit card numbers, and more.

Your smartphone is more precious than your wallet, your keys and in some cases, your actual computer when it comes to sensitive information - but we all have that nagging guilt that we don’t do enough to protect our devices beyond perhaps having a four digit pass code.

I have come up with some top-level tips to help make your phone more secure, protecting those all important messages and images that you don’t want falling into the wrong hands.

  1. Avoid Public Wi-Fi - Wi-Fi in public is not secure. Even though connections to public Wi-Fi will say they’re not secure, not all users notice this alert, and some may not even know what it means. Instead, using a virtual private network (VPN) will significantly boost security for your sensitive data. A VPN service such as Hotspot Shield encrypts all cyberspace transmissions, scrambling them so that hackers can’t make sense of them.

  2. Encrypt the storage – Most modern devices have the ability to encrypt phone storage. Some of them do it even by default seamlessly without the user even noticing. If your device is lost or stolen, even the more advanced adversaries will have little to no chance of getting to your data. Imagine what would happen if somebody got to your photos, messages, e-mails, and would have ability to log onto your social networking accounts. To check if your phone encrypts your storage, Go-to Settings-Security-Encryption and check if the option is set to “Encrypted”.

  3. All devices should have a wipe function. If the device is lost or stolen, all the data on it can be eradicated – remotely. This function works best when you have your location turned on. Many of us keep our location turned off and in the event that our device goes missing or stolen we lose everything to the adversary. Follow this step to ensure your device have administrative right to wipe data or locate device. Go-to Settings-Device administration-Device administrators-Enable Find my Device.

  4. Disable automatic connections to open WiFi and only connect to trusted networks.

  5. Download phone apps from trusted sources only, like the Apple Store and Google Play. Do not put any unsolicited software on your phone.

  6. Some apps need permission to access personal information and some don’t, so be careful to check the privacy setting for any app before you install it on your device. A flash light app has no business to request for access to your contacts and messages. Take time to read permissions before granting apps.

  7. Never underestimate the importance of mobile anti virus. E.g ESET, Avast security e.t.c.

  8. Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth when not in use. Attacks such as Bluejacking, Blue snarfing are launched against open Bluetooth devices.

  9. Always factory reset and clear data on your device before you sell or recycle.

  10. Back up your phone regularly. Make copies of important contents and store them on a computer hard drive or through a cloud-based backup service

  11. Enable device lock on your phone. A typical four to six digit pin can be easily cracked in seconds, while a strong nine or more character alpha-numeric pass code could take years, or even decades to crack.

  12. Use Kid/Guest mode. Kid modes, and to a lesser extent guest modes, are also vitally important. The last thing you want is for your child (or your friend) to be messing around on your phone and to stumble across private data.

  13. Update your software and Operating system.

Are we ready to make a change towards mobile security with these tips?


Most people dont take note of this,they just download an app and click allow to what ever permission request pops up


But the issue with this anti virus apps is that they could slow down your device and increase resource utilisation
Any light weight mobile anti-virus anyone could recommend?


Thank you for throwing light on this. I understand that Internet service is quite expensive in Nigeria but most Nigerians jump at any opportunity of Free Wi-fi to update all the updateables and download all they can.


User awareness is what most people need. many don’t know the implications even if they read it. glad you understand this and you can help making people aware.


Humans by nature are drawn to free stuffs. :smile: The dangers of public or free wifi are underrated. many people are even happier when they discover a wifi that isn’t even password protected.


downloading the Lite version of anti virus could do the job but with limited features. However, you could uninstall apps that you rarely use to save resources.


No one mentioned how smart phones front and back camera can be hacked and how it can be avoided


Thanks so much.
I followed some instructions as i read this; things like encryption of data

But leaving Location on drains the battery


The risk of your phone being hacked is less if you follow the steps above to ensure security. updating and patching your apps, download trusted apps, grant permissions to benign apps e.t.c.


going to settings, battery (if your phone supports that option), you will find that the main culprit that drains your battery is your display light. others are leaving your wifi and bluetooth on, google services. however location is not completely ruled out but its not a heavy user.


I will be excited to find out how! Drop some tips!


Nice tips.

People should also take note of the sites they visit on their mobile phones as some sites have been known to silently install malicious apps that masquerades genuine apps on your phone once you visit them and click on certain links


Please, example of some sites that do this


There’s no tabulated list of websites but one needs to be wary of sites that give out paid software for free, P2P sites that deal with torrents, also those that promise free cash rewards and adult sites.


Never paid attention to this before. Thought phone makers wouldn’t even see this as an option


True that. most modern browsers will warn that the site you are about to visit maybe harmful. close that page immediately. if you haven’t seen such warnings before, you should consider updating your apps often.