Mobile phones have become a necessity in our lives. If we just sit back and think as to how mobile phones have affected our daily life, we will be stumped. This is exactly what I did and at the end, I really had a long list.
This list will vary from person to person but I can guarantee that we all use our phone for tasks like banking, shopping, texting and browsing. The reason I highlighted these is that the process which goes behind is sensitive and when compromised, can expose your personal details and can leave you bankrupt.
If you haven’t experienced these below things yourself, you might have definitely heard them happen to someone else:
- Locked out of your own social media account, the password that was working until yesterday won’t work anymore
- The travel bag that you were looking for earlier online is all over the websites that you visit now
- Searching for credit cards offer or insurance, now you are bombarded with calls from telecallers.
These are just a few examples of a much more serious issue. The one thing you will understand by this is that your privacy is at risk.
An average person spends 5-6 hours a day on their smartphone, this is an era where stalker doesn’t need to follow you or check your dustbin for sensitive details about you. They can just sit in a room and gather all required information. So we must most be worried about the privacy especially on our phone.
Let’s discuss the five basic things that as a phone user we must all follow so that we will have our privacy back which in turn means our life is back:
1. Password protect your phone:
This is something very basic yet powerful. Can you image your unlocked phone with someone, it’s like not having a door to our house.
Always make it a point to password protect your phone and make sure you select the option to hide sensitive information under notification, this option will hide the information that comes up under notification on a locked phone.
2. Location service:
When your location service is on, you should know that you are being tracked. Have you ever checked the timeline on your Google Maps? It tracks your everyday movements and creates a timeline.
I know it is impossible to keep your location service off all the time, so the best possible alternative here is to turn it on only when necessary i.e when booking cabs or for navigation, etc
3. Using your browser wisely:
You do have an option on your phone to turn them off. Whenever I browser online, I make sure to follow the below guidelines:
- Using an Incognito mode in the browser.
- Use search engines like Duckduckgo instead of Google.
- Making sure that I do not click on links that say that I won something or offers some freebies
These are few things that can really have an impact on privacy while you browse online.
Whenever you install an App on your phone, it requires a set of permission to function smoothly. Most us do not read much and just quicky press allow for all the permission that the App is asking for. I recently happened to install a game on my Android phone, the basic permission it would need is storage and location but it was asking permission to access my contacts which I think wasn’t necessary for a game. Another example is of a money transfer App which was asking for root access.
Another example of privacy breach is when you use your Google or Social media account to sign up for any service and if you check the permission window, 90% of the Apps will ask permission to access your friend list.
What I recommend is, always check what permission is actually necessary for the App to function and do deny access to unwanted requests or access.
5. Using proxies:
We are always attracted to “Free Wifi” boards. It is an addiction that can have negative effects. So make it a point to use a proxy while on an open Wifi or internet connection like the ones you find at an airport, hotel, cafe, etc
Proxies will spoof your location, hide your original IP and thus make you anonymous.
Mobile phones were a revolution that changed the way we interact with the world around us but it also paved way to what we call as invaders. Invaders of our privacy, our freedom. Just a few precautions and we really have a chance to fight back. Be smarter than your smartphone, be safe!