Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - DIY SPECIAL - BY NIDHI SIN­GAL

When mo­bile phones were used only for calls and text mes­sages, the only fear we had was about los­ing the phone and con­tacts. But as more and more fea­tures are be­ing added to smart­phones, there is a lot more con­fi­den­tial data at risk. And it is not only hack­ers who are eye­ing your smart­phones for sen­si­tive data, there are also oth­ers spy­ing on you. Here are some tips to help you in keep your smart­phone safe: WITH YOU: Don’t ever leave your phone unat­tended, es­pe­cially at pub­lic places. Let­ting it lie in the open gives oth­ers an op­por­tu­nity to ac­cess your data. Al­ways carry your phone in the pocket or in the hand­bag. PASS­WORD: Even if you don’t have any sen­si­tive data on your phone, pass­word pro­tec­tion is a must. While in Ap­ple iphone, Black­berry and Win­dows Phone, you can have PIN pass­word, Google’s An­droid smart­phone of­fers you a host of op­tions—pin, pat­tern, face, face and voice recog­ni­tion (de­pend­ing on the hand­set and OS ver­sion). Never use your name, birth date, ad­dress, car num­ber plate, etc, as the pass­word. In cer­tain de­vices, there is the op­tion to wipe the phone clean af­ter a de­fined num­ber of wrong pass­word at­tempts. (See “How to set a safe pass­word” be­low). US­AGE: As on your PC, avoid opening links or down­load­ing at­tach­ments in emails from un­known sources. Also, only down­load third-party ap­pli­ca­tions from of­fi­cial ap­pli­ca­tion stores. While Ap­ple is strict about the apps listed on the Store, there have been re­ports about bad apps on the Google An­droid Mar­ket (now Google Play). So it is rec­om­mended that you check the app re­view and the source be­fore down­load­ing. Plus, while us­ing Wi-fi hotspots, avoid key­ing in your pass­word and credit card de­tails. ANTI-VIRUS & RE­MOTE WIPE: Re­cently there have been re­ports about mal­ware at­tacks tar­geted at An­droid phones. This in­di­cates that you should ac­tu­ally con­sider in­stalling an antivirus soft­ware that will scan each and ev­ery doc­u­ment, im­age, web links and even apps and keep the phone pro­tected from un­wanted virus at­tacks. Most of the antivirus soft­ware avail­able on the App Stores are paid ones and of­fer full pro­tec­tion. Some soft­ware also have the op­tion of a re­mote wipe to re­move all data in case the phone is lost.

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