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Data privacy suggestions experts in digital security wish you knew

We have seven expert recommendations to keep your iPhone and Android apps from leaking info.

Every year, the importance of digital security grows. Many of us rely on iPhone and Android applications for entertainment, navigation, exercise, and social networking, but they are notoriously difficult to trust. There’s no way to determine if an app is following you on the surface, and no protection is failsafe in today’s world of ever-changing technology. An app that behaves well today could become a bad actor tomorrow if the firm behind it is sold, changes direction, or becomes compromised due to a vulnerability.

There are methods to locate and delete the information Google has saved on you, as well as new privacy settings in Android and iOS to prevent apps from tracking you. There is, however, more you can do to protect your data and improve the security of your smartphone. We asked data privacy and security experts what actions they hoped more consumers would take while using smartphone apps. Here are their recommendations.


Make use of a password manager

The most secure passwords are made up of random strings of characters. A random sequence of letters, numbers, and symbols is less likely to be discovered in a dictionary and more difficult for a computer to crack using brute force. The disadvantage is that these complex passwords are far more difficult to remember.

This is when a password manager tool can be useful. Password organizers consolidate all of your passwords into a single encrypted and password-protected software. They are also capable of creating and remembering complex passwords. While apps like Google Chrome and Samsung’s own phone app offer to remember your passwords, security experts always advocate using a password manager.

It’s also a good idea not to use the same password for many accounts. If one account is hacked as a result of a data breach, all accounts are compromised. With a password manager, each of your accounts can have a unique, complicated, and difficult-to-crack password. Some even create passwords for you.


When using public Wi-Fi, use a VPN

Experts recommend utilizing a VPN to connect to a public Wi-Fi network while on your phone rather than using mobile data. A virtual private network can prevent other persons on the same public network from eavesdropping on your data. They can also hide your data transmissions, allowing you to evade filtering and censorship on the internet and access a greater range of content from around the world.

It can save you from having to connect to a free public network where others can gain access to your phone for our reasons. When looking for a service, it is critical to conduct research to determine whether the organization is well-known and trustworthy. There are plenty of free VPN apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, but some have questionable practices, so be cautious.


Be cautious of app permissions

Almost all of the experts recommended double-checking which permissions the app requests. You should also examine if it is appropriate for an app to request specific permissions. An app requesting access to data that is unrelated to its role is a huge red flag.

It’s crucial to watch how your phone performs after you download an app in addition to paying attention to the permissions you provide it.


Do some research on the app or company

While it is impossible to know if an app has malicious intentions just on its appearance, a fast Google search can provide more information. The experts advised Googling for the app’s name and the phrases “data scandal” or “scam.” According to Hart, the results should reveal whether the organization has recently encountered any privacy or data leaks.


Limit your use of social media

The Cambridge Analytica data scandal has landed the popular social network in deep water. Even those who have abandoned Facebook following the disaster (or never created a profile in the first place) may still be vulnerable to privacy violation. You are still visible online if you appear on a friend’s or family member’s account. Following the observation of those accounts, businesses can create a “shadow profile” that includes a person’s likes, dislikes, political leanings, religious beliefs, and other information.

It’s best to keep the amount of information you publish on social media to a minimum, regardless of what the site requests on your profile. The more information you submit, the more data is accessible to produce ads for you. Fill out only the bare minimum of information required. In the event of a data breach, the more information is at danger.