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7 security tips for your rugged device

Am I safe?

You’ve surely heard about several of the recent big data leak scandals and wondered if you might have been affected yourself? The underlying reasons for a data breach can be many, and in fact, it’s not that easy to stay safe on your mobile device.

Is it safe to download this app? Are there any risks using this Wi-Fi-network? Can I locate my device if it’s been stolen?

If any of these questions have ever come to your mind, this article is for you.

1. Only download apps from the official stores

Downloading an app from an unreliable source equals an unnecessary risk for both your device and your personal data. In the worst case you make yourself vulnerable to ransomware, malware, spyware and trojan viruses by installing apps coming from unofficial sources.

So, whether your rugged device runs Android or Windows, make sure that you only download and install apps from their official stores (Google Play Store and Microsoft Store). If you’re looking to install third-party software, make sure that the company behind it is trustworthy.

Android in-app updates header
Google Play Protect scans over 50 billion apps on user’s devices each day to keep apps installed from the Google Play Store safe.

Read more: Google Play is cleaner than ever before

2. Check your app permissions

When installing apps you often just accept any request given from it to speed up the process. But if you actually stop by and read what permissions the app is asking for, it’s often a bit overwhelming.

For example, let’s say you’re downloading a plain and simple calculator app. During the installation process, it may ask for permission to access your location or your contact list. But is it really reasonable for a calculator app to have access to your contacts or your location?

Our recommendation is to always check what permission you’re giving the app before you installing it. By doing that you decrease the chance of exposing more of your personal data than needed.

3. Keep apps and software up to date

By staying up to date with software updates you’re making it more difficult for hackers to access your device. Since they’re constantly evolving their methods to intrude devices it’s important to keep pace with all the security updates that’s often included in updates to your device.

An effective way to make sure you always have the latest updates is to configure your device to update both itself, apps and software automatically.  

4. Take advantage of a password manager

As you probably already now, it’s recommended to always use passwords with a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. But to stay even more safe and strengthen your passwords further you should use a completely random strings of characters.

Setting up these passwords may be easy, but remembering them won’t. That’s where a password manager steps in. It keeps all your passwords in one encrypted and password-protected app, which also can generate strong passwords for you.

One of the most common password managers is LastPass which is available on both the Google Play Store and the Microsoft Store.

LastPass stores all your passwords in one encrypted app.

5. Be careful with open Wi-Fi

Using an open wireless network can also be a danger which is easily avoided. If your doubtful of the network you can simply continue using your own mobile data, or you can use a VPN tool.

There are plenty of VPN apps available that is used to drive your traffic through a private encrypted channel. This way, you keep your data safe from others using the same public network.

6. Prepare for the worst case scenario

If you’re device should be stolen or you just lost it while out in the field, there are ways to plan ahead making those eventual situations a bit easier.

One kind of drastic way is to configure your device to erase its data after someone has been trying to get into it without success after a certain number of attempts. But that might not be the first option to try since a child, or anyone else for that matter, can see it as a fun thing to type the wrong password on purpose.

A more common thing to do is to use Google’s or Microsoft’s “Find my device” services. They can help you both locate your lost device and lock it, if that’s needed.  

7. Review the current state of your device

As boring as it may sound, the last tip is to just look through your device as it is. Do you recall install any apps that came from unreliable sources or have you not been updating your device for ages?

Do an overview of your apps in particular, but also look over your settings and try some of the recommendations above to keep you and your device more safe in the future.

Read more: 5 ways to make your Android device faster

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