Digital Journal

Best cybersecurity practices for safe mobile online browsing


Most of our daily life takes place on smartphones. One can’t imagine online banking, paying for groceries and services, chatting, scheduling appointments, or even getting a bus ticket without our compact pocket devices. We’ve become so accustomed to the convenience of our phones that we forget how much sensitive information they store. Thus, it makes them a lucrative target for cybercriminals.

Even simple adware you encounter on a daily basis may secretly harvest your data and monitor online behavior. Once they have your data, it’s sold to advertising agencies and companies. And that’s the lightest case of what’s done with your information. Some hackers are actively hunting for data access for ransomware, spyware, malvertising, and other kinds of malicious activities.

This article will overview the top and most common cybersecurity tools for retaining data privacy and protecting your smartphone.

Use a VPN for online activities

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a technology that serves as a protective bridge between your smartphone and internet. Reliable software routes your web traffic through a protected tunnel wrapped in AES-256 encryption. Notably, banks and militaries employ the same cipher, which speaks volumes about its dependability. All you have to do on a VPN app is to connect to a server in a desired location.

Once connected, you get a different IP address that matches the local area. This throws all snoopers, even your ISP (Internet Service Provider), off your track. Therefore, you regain your online anonymity and can continue browsing from that moment on without worrying about your data and whether someone is spying on your activities. Of course, it’s not full-blown protection, but a good VPN for Android or iOS will definitely bolster data privacy.

Employ a password vault for account safety

Every mobile device has login credentials to numerous accounts for casual and important use. Keeping them might become tedious, so we end up using the same password for several if not all accounts. That’s an awful practice that makes hacking tenfold easier. A password manager helps create strong passwords and store your credentials in a safe, impenetrable vault locked under a master password.

Robust and modern password manager solutions employ the XChaCha2 cipher, even stronger encryption than the standard AES-256. Doubled with 2FA authentication, your passwords on Android and iOS devices are in trustworthy hands, and you no longer need to worry about hackers getting their hands on your credentials.

Backup your files in cloud storage

Besides personal files, our smartphones often contain important or work-related files that shouldn’t fall into the wrong hands. Cloud storage is a convenient way to not just back up your files in case you lose or break your device, but it’s also a protective measure. The technology and policies behind it protect from unauthorized access, so only you can view the files in the storage.

There are three types of cloud storage: public, private, and hybrid. Hybrid cloud storage is the most popular choice as it allows data sharing with both public and private accounts and maintains stronger security. Some mobile cloud storage solutions offer data-recovery implementation if you lost data due to a disaster, cyber attack, or any other circumstance.

Enable 2FA in every account and app

You were undoubtedly prompted several times throughout your life to enable 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) on your mobile, laptop, or desktop device. Though we often tend to brush it off, it’s a crucial step in securing your account. Yes, once you enable it, you’ll be required to sign into your account with the help of an authenticator app (Google Authenticator or any other you pick). And, yes, it can be a hassle. But it also means it’s a hassle for hackers.

There are several 2FA methods. For instance, it can be something you know, like a piece of information that will be required upon signing in. Another option for mobile devices, apart from an authenticator app, is a fingerprint scan or face recognition. Either way, 2FA helps prevent data breaches and hacking attempts.

Get an antivirus software against malware

One of the top-tier cybersecurity tools for any mobile device is an antivirus app. Of course, you must research and pick a trustworthy antivirus from the market awash with options. An antivirus generally protects your device from online and offline cyber threats, including data mining, ransomware, fleeceware, spyware, malvertising, etc. It’s usually a one-in-all solution when it comes to malware.

A sturdy antivirus deploys real-time threat protection, which always runs in the background. It helps prevent incoming dangers, whether web or device-based. Though it may drain your battery, a modern app shouldn’t go overboard. Otherwise, depending on the provider you pick, you may also get a data breach scanner, device locator, or built-in VPN. In all in all, antivirus is a direct cybersecurity tool for combating all kinds of malware.

Final thoughts

You’re familiar with or have seen some of these cybersecurity tools and practices. Often, they’re underestimated until it’s too late – data has been sabotaged, your smartphone damaged by a virus, or an account hacked. Fortunately, implementing those practices is never too late, and you can bolster your mobile security quite easily.

Using tools like VPN, password manager, cloud storage, or antivirus, backed by 2FA, creates an elaborate protection infrastructure. Each piece of software complements another, creating a strong defense against snoopers, hackers, and data-harvesting apps (even official ones, yes). Managing these apps and employing these practices is quite a breeze and are adapted for beginners. So, you only need to pick good providers and secure your smartphone without further delay.

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