Mr Nosa Igiebor, a Mobile Engineer with Microsoft Nigeria, has advised Smartphone users to familiarise themselves with security features in their phones to safeguard them against hackers or theft.
Igiebor told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja that users should also visit the official Android website to learn more about their phones and the security features in them.
A mobile engineer develops and builds software applications for mobile devices; some can also specialise in Android or Internal Operating Systems (IOS) applications.
“Cyber-criminals are increasingly targeting your mobile device because it contains valuable data such as banking passwords and usernames, e-commerce and social media log-ins, and personal information that can be used in identity theft scams.
“ The good news is that a few simple best practices can safeguard your data against the most common cyber-threats, including malware, phishing and hacking.
“There are a few simple steps users can take to improve Smartphone security,’’ he said.
The expert urged Smartphone owners to always lock their phones using a pin, saying “it is simple, safe and reliable and remains the best way to safeguard devices when not in use.’’
“The biggest mobile security risk is the loss or theft of one’s Smartphone and in such a case it is better to prevent a thief from accessing personal data such as social media, online banking details or by making unexpected calls from the lost phone.
“It is better to lock our mobile devices with a code or fingerprint recognition,’’ he said.
Igiebor discouraged phone users from downloading applications from unofficial websites but should stick to getting apps from an official store such as the Google Play Store.
“All Android apps undergo rigorous security testing before appearing in the Google Play Store. That means it is rare for a third party app to make its way onto the Google Play Store which has not been through security checks.
“Phone users can also install an antivirus app for extra peace of mind. There are some good, free of charge offerings like Avast Mobile Security Antivirus, as well as affordable paid-for apps from the likes of Trend Micro and Norton Mobile Security.
“Google’s own Google Play Protect does a good job of scanning your device and keeping it clear of malware and you can also install a third-party antivirus app that identifies known threats and prevents them from compromising your device or data,‘’ he said.
The expert also advised phone users to turn off wireless connections when not in use and to be wary of online log-ins.
“Turn off wireless connections that you’re not using such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
“ This will not only stop hackers from accessing data on your phone, it will also help you conserve battery life,’’ he said.
According to him, the Android Smartphone is designed to be secure and includes many features to protect user’s personal information from thieves and scammers.