Smartphones these days come with a plethora of features that make our life easy. In fact, our phones have become a part of our identity today. Apart from using them for making calls, we use our phones to order rides, book dinner, look up information, and shop online, among other things. We also use our phones to store all kinds of stuff these days – from banking information to passwords – as they help make things comfortable for us.
There are things, however, that you should never store on your cell phone regardless of the innumerable customizations that iPhone or Android devices offer. Yes, modern smartphones do come with improved security features but a phone can be stolen or lost at any time. Moreover, hackers too have upped their game and are finding new ways to get their hands on your data. Hence, it isn’t prudent to save everything on your phone just because it’s convenient.
Here is a look at a few things you should never store in your cell phone.
1. Your passwords
These days, with the innumerable amount of apps and websites we use on our phones, it’s almost impossible to keep track of the different passwords we tend to keep for each of them. It is hence quite tempting and convenient to save our passwords on the phone (or tablet). However, experts don’t recommend doing this. Even saving them in notes, documents, or through autofill isn’t safe.
The problem is that your devices’ notes might back up your information to cloud storage. This makes it easier for hackers to access all of your accounts and personal information. Also, while autofill is quite handy as it automatically saves your personal information and passwords so that you don’t have to remember them, that makes it risky as well. If some untrustworthy person gets hold of your phone, then they will also have access to the passwords that you saved through autofill.
Thus, instead of keeping a list of your passwords on your phone, or depending on autofill, you can download some free password managers like Dashlane, Keeper, or LastPass, as they encrypt your password database with a single master password and keeps them safe.
2. Personal Identity Information
Are you saving your social security number, driver’s license number, or other personal information on your phone? That’s never a good idea. The core issue with this is the risk of leaking your personal data to thieves or hackers who could then get access to your sensitive identity information.
What should you do if you must save vital information on your phone for a short time every now and then? In such a scenario, just take a picture of your cards (or any other relevant document) and then delete the picture as soon as the said time has passed. Keeping such information stored away on your smartphone is simply inviting risk.
3. Banking Information
Banking apps have been a boon for so many of us, haven’t they? They have made banking super convenient for those who are always on the go and those who can’t visit banks personally. However, despite the convenience banking apps offer, it’s not wise to store your banking information on the phone. In case you lose your smartphone or if it is hacked, that might lead to a financial disaster.
It would be better to perform your banking transactions on a computer that never leaves your home. But if you can’t avoid using banking apps, then make sure to never save your login passwords on them while also disabling automatic log-in features.
4. Very personal pictures or videos
If you have saved some very personal photos and videos on your phone that you don’t want to make public, then you should probably rethink that decision. These days, the photos and videos stored in most phones are automatically saved on the cloud and may be accessed by hackers. Moreover, if the phone is lost and falls into the hands of someone notorious, they can easily upload your personal photos or videos to social media websites.
You can’t, of course, remove all the photos and videos from your phone. But it would be better if you could keep the extremely private ones stashed away safely on a computer, pen drive, or an external hard drive.
5. Apps from unwanted sources
Installing paid apps for free from unknown sources can cause a serious threat to the stored data on your phone. Apart from being an unethical action, it’s also highly dangerous. You may find a unique app catered to your interest on an unreliable website, or maybe, someone sent an unknown app to you via WhatsApp... However, if the equivalent isn’t available on the official app stores then they are best avoided. Many of these fishy apps that claim to be free contain malware and can instantly harm your phone. These untrustworthy apps can be quite disruptive and can even target your device’s SIM network, abuse permissions, and more.
While the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store are not infallible, they are currently the safest means of app installation available.
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