Ten Ways to Make Your Galaxy S 4 Secure - dummies

Ten Ways to Make Your Galaxy S 4 Secure

By Bill Hughes

Back in the “old” days, it sure was frustrating to have your regular feature phone lost or stolen. You would lose all your contacts, call history, and texts. Even if you backed up all of your contacts, you would have to re-enter them in your new phone. What a hassle.

The good news is that your smartphone saves all your contacts on your Gmail account. The bad news is that, unless you take some additional steps, evil-doers could conceivably drain your bank account, get you fired, or even arrested.

A malevolent prankster could send an e-mail from your work e-mail address under your name. It could be a rude note to the head of your company. It could also give phony information about an imminent financial collapse of your company to the local newspaper. It could be a threat to the U.S. president, generating a visit from the Secret Service.

Here’s the deal: You want to take steps to protect your smartphone. This is the burden of having a well-connected device. Fortunately, most of the steps are simple and straightforward.

Use a good case and screen cover

Dropping a phone on concrete can break some of the innards. The glass may be fine, but the LCD can still crack or the connections become loose.

There are lots of choices for cases. The most popular are made of silicone, plastic, or leather. There are different styles that meet your needs from many manufacturers.

Put a screen lock on your phone

The most basic effort you can take to protect your phone is to put some kind of a screen lock on your phone. If you are connected to a corporate network, they may have a policy on what you must do if you are to access your corporate network.

Encrypt your Galaxy S 4

This is an exceptionally secure option: It scrambles every file on your phone into gibberish, which it rapidly descrambles when you need it. This sounds great; however, there are some important considerations to look into as well. Encryption is permanent.

Put your contact number on the screensaver

Do not use your cellular phone number as your contact number.

Be careful with Bluetooth

Perhaps the greatest vulnerability your phone faces is called bluejacking, which involves using some simple tricks to gain access to your phone via Bluetooth. Be extra careful when you use Bluetooth.

Back up your Galaxy S 4

Some cellular carriers, like Verizon, offer a backup service preinstalled on your phone: the Backup Assistant. You can access it from Accounts and Sync on your Settings page.

However, have no fear if your phone doesn’t come preinstalled with such an application. Many services support Android phones in the Play Store.

Protect against malware

Rather than simply avoiding new apps, you can download apps to protect the information on your phone. These are available from many of the firms that make antivirus software for your PC. Importantly, many of these antivirus applications are free. If you want a nicer interface and some enhanced features, you can pay a few dollars, but this is not necessary.

Don’t download apps from just anywhere

Another way to avoid malware is to use only mobile software distribution sites that are trustworthy, for example, on the Google Play Store. There are a number of other reputable sites where you can download Android apps for your phone, including PocketGear and MobiHand.

As a rule, you should hesitate to download an Android application unless you know where it has been. You are most safe by working with reputable companies. Be very skeptical of any other source of an Android application.

Rescue your phone when it gets lost

There are apps that help you find your phone. Look for them now, so you will be aware of them. Some you can download remotely, some you cannot.

Wipe your Galaxy S 4 clean

As a last ditch option, you can use Mobile Management Software (MMS). MMS software can remotely disable your device or wipe it clean.

Each of the preceding kinds of applications is available from the Play Store. The simplest security applications are free, but the better quality apps, like the ones mentioned in the antivirus section, are about $10 and require a monthly service fee in the range of up to $5 monthly. Decide what options work for you, consider the price, and protect yourself.