Everyone chooses a smartphone for a variety of reasons. Some are neckbeard-wearing, basement-dwelling geekazoids that want all the things for the fetishistic love of tech. At the other end of the spectrum are grandmas who just wanted the simplest phone they could find. But a smartphone was all that was available.
For some people, the smartphone augments their landline and is only used for IM and Facebook on the go. Others are telecommunications chord-cutters, having ditched the landline long ago. For them, the smartphone is the only phone they have. It serves for casual communication and emergency beacon.
Whatever function your smartphone serves for you, if it is compromised or broken, then it is useless. Everyone from geekazoids to fashionistas can agree that their smartphone of choice needs to be in one piece, free of malware, and generally operational. Here’s how to make sure all three apply to your smartphone of choice:
Smartphones are surprisingly durable. That is not to say that you should casually drop them on concrete to impress your friends. But the vast majority of the time, a drop does not render your smartphone nonfunctional. What will make your smartphone nonfunctional is a shattered screen.
You can use a phone with a dent in the metal chassis. You can’t use a touchscreen device if you can’t touch the screen without cutting yourself every time. The single most useful smartphone accessory you can buy is a tempered glass screen protector that can take the shock and damage from drops and scrapes so that your expensive screen doesn’t have to.
This kind of screen protector actually adds durability to your phone. The added rigidity decreases the chances that either screen will crack or shatter. It is also made from the kind of material that can handle violent contact with nails, coins, knives, and most anything else you might have in your pocket.
By all means, get a good case. But if you can only buy one protective accessory, make it a good screen protector. Even after a bad drop, you will still be able to use your phone to get you out of a jam, even if that jam is an element of Candy Crush Jelly.
Your smartphone is a convenient way for you to access your personal information. Unfortunately, it is a convenient way for criminals to access your personal information as well. Once someone else gains access to your personal information, your smartphone is no longer a benefit, but a liability.
There is no way to safeguard your information 100%. But there are plenty of things you can do to make it more difficult to get your information from your phone against your will. You can:
- Download an antivirus app for your Android phone
- Use a 6-digit passcode for your lock screen
- Don’t root or jailbreak your phone
Beyond these basic tips, there is the difficult area of password management to consider. Some people swear by password managers. Others avoid them because they are a single point of failure. They can also be somewhat inconvenient. Even more inconvenient is two-factor authentication. As always, you will have to balance the demands of security and convenience. You can never have the maximum amount of both.
Smartphone Recovery Systems
If you’re reading this in a public setting, and happen to have one of the most popular smartphones, someone is eyeing it right now, and trying to figure out the best way to steal it from you. There is little you can do to stop a determined thief. But you can make sure you have Find My iPhone, or the android equivalent turned on. Never confront a person you think has your stolen phone. Only do this with the help of the police.
These systems can do more than pinpoint your stolen device. They also allow you to lock the device, change the password, data wipe it, and report it as stolen. Your smartphone being stolen isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you. And using the built-in systems can make it even less traumatic.
Protect your screen. Protect your data. And be sure to activate the onboard recovery systems. In the event that something bad should happen, these protective measures will keep that bad thing to a minimum.