Ensure your phone is secure.
Ensure your phone is secure. contributed

Avoiding hackers: How to prioritise your phone's privacy

AS INTERNET security becomes increasingly unpredictable, it is more important South Burnett residents know how they can protect their privacy.

Google's Consumer Barometer shows 24 per cent of people use the internet on smartphones, rather than computers or tablets.

According to NordVPN's digital privacy expert Daniel Markuson, this can allow people to get further past computer security.

"Unfortunately, few people realise that mobile devices are even better at spying on them than computers,” he said.

"Millions of apps make it easy to use smartphones not only for social interaction, but also for payment or storing sensitive data.

"That means users are vulnerable to security breaches as well as personal hacking attacks, especially on public Wi-Fi.”

In an effort to fight the problem, here are some ways you can avoid being vulnerable to most cyber-attacks.

Firstly, Mr Markuson said it was important to recognise suspicious messages.

"A 'smishing' attack is as dangerous as an email phishing attack. It is usually a text message urging to click on a link. If you do, a malicious app may be installed on your smartphone, or you may be tricked into giving up your sensitive data,” he said.

"Make sure not to click any suspicious links in SMS or messenger apps and not to reply to messages that seem strange.”

Mr Markuson then advised people to only download applications from well-known app stores, including Apple's App Store, Android's Play Store or Amazon's Appstore.

"Pay attention to any signs suggesting that the app may be fake. For instance, excessive permissions often mean that the app is not legitimate,” he said.

It's then important to keep your apps updated, so their internal security is up to speed.

"Hackers usually exploit security weaknesses in operating systems and apps. For your own peace of mind, make sure never to skip software updates,” Mr Markuson said.