Mitigating Smartphone Risks: Expert Advice on Securing Your Device

In an era where smartphones are practically an extension of our hands, it’s easy to overlook the potential risks lurking within these pocket-sized wonders. As we seamlessly navigate work tasks, social interactions, and entertainment on our devices, it becomes crucial to be vigilant about personal information security and understand the potential hazards posed by certain smartphone features.

We sought insights from IT experts to shed light on these concerns. Vage Zakaryan, Head of Development at Gem Space superapp, advises smartphone users: “Some features and services on your device are better off completely disabled. This not only reduces battery consumption but also limits access to the owner’s personal data. Notifications from apps, especially if they are not essential, should be selectively enabled. Constant pop-up notifications significantly accelerate battery drainage. Most phones allow users to disable notifications from specific apps in settings. Reserve them only for essential apps like messaging and banking. Additionally, block websites from sending notifications through browser settings.”

Another expert, Andrew Ringer, IT Director at the consulting company “Apex Insight Partners,” offers recommendations, “I recommend turning off background operations for most apps. This not only conserves your smartphone’s energy but also enhances the security of confidential information. Apps running in the background may not only download updates but also transmit information to third parties. Another smartphone feature that can slow down performance and disclose user location is geolocation. For many apps, constant access to this information is unnecessary, so it’s advisable to disable location tracking. Keep geolocation enabled only for apps that require it, such as taxi services or maps.”

Verifying that access to information is granted only to necessary apps on an iPhone can be done by individually checking each parameter. Navigate to “Privacy and Security” in settings, reviewing which apps have access to the microphone, camera, photos, and contacts. It’s also possible to completely block requests for activity tracking on websites and other apps, reducing the flow of personal data to various companies.

One potential danger is unlocking phones with fingerprint recognition. While convenient, it poses a series of issues, primarily related to the potential loss of personal data. Biometric data recognition, introduced a few years ago, revolutionized user habits by eliminating the need for remembering a digital password. However, this convenience comes with a downside: the security of personal data. Fraudsters often steal user databases, hack phones, and copy fingerprints easily. Older devices with fingerprint sensors may even be unlocked using someone else’s fingerprints. Furthermore, fingerprint recognition systems are susceptible to dirt, scratches, and other disturbances, requiring users to resort to the digital password. To bolster smartphone information security, experts recommend employing multiple layers of protection, including two-factor authentication with SMS code verification. This adds an extra layer of complexity to device hacking attempts.