In today’s tech-savvy world, our phones have evolved from simple communication devices to advanced, handheld supercomputers capable of performing a myriad of tasks. From handling financial transactions to video editing, our phones have become an integral part of our daily lives. However, with increased capabilities come heightened security risks, as our phones are vulnerable to the same threats as any other computer connected to the Internet. Worse yet, personal devices often contain private information like bank account numbers, which, if accessed by the wrong person, could result in dangerous and expensive problems like drained bank accounts, identity theft and so on.
Despite the potential dangers, many individuals overlook the security threats posed by their phones, making them easy targets for cybercriminals. To highlight the severity of the issue, a recent study by Apple, in collaboration with MIT, revealed a staggering 2.6 billion personal records breached in 2021 and 2022, with an anticipated increase in 2023. Additionally, Kaspersky Security Network reported over 8 million mobile malware, adware, and riskware attacks blocked in Q3 of 2023 alone.
For business owners, the risks are even more significant. Organizations must establish mobile policies for employees to prevent potential breaches, especially when accessing sensitive work documents or accounts using unprotected devices. A single entry point is all a hacker needs to compromise an entire network.
To address these concerns, both Apple and Android have developed robust security systems with advanced protective features that users can leverage to enhance their device security.
Apple: Advanced Data Protection (ADP)
Apple has introduced Advanced Data Protection (ADP) as an optional setting, providing the highest level of cloud data security. This feature encrypts messages in iCloud, iCloud Backup, Notes, Photos, Safari bookmarks, Siri Shortcuts, and more. Activating ADP ensures that only trusted devices, added by the user, can decrypt the information, offering an extra layer of security against cloud-based data breaches.
To enable Apple’s Advanced Data Protection Setting:
- Ensure devices are updated to at least iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, macOS 13.1, tvOS 16.2, watchOS 9.2, or later.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap your name at the top.
- Select iCloud, scroll to the bottom, and tap Advanced Data Protection.
- Tap Turn On Advanced Data Protection.
NOTE: Follow on-screen prompts, and ensure a recovery contact/key is set up.
- Once a recovery contact/key is set up, return to Settings > iCloud > Advanced Data Protection and tap Turn On Advanced Data Protection.
- Follow the prompts.
NOTE: You may be asked to update other devices signed into your iCloud account before enabling end-to-end encryption (E2E).
You can also remove devices with old software to continue the process.
If your device is new, for security reasons, Apple might make you wait to enable the feature. If that’s the case, that timeframe will show on your screen during setup.
Android: Google Play Protect and Data Backups
Android’s security features, while not far behind Apple’s, include Google Play Protect, which analyzes every app before download, preventing access to apps with security risks. Daily scans help identify and disable malware. Android backups are regularly uploaded to Google servers, encrypted with your Google Account password for added security.
To secure your data on Android:
If you’re using Google One, you can set up automatic backups on your Android device to ensure that if disaster strikes, your data is securely stored in the cloud:
- Open the Google One app on your Android.
- Tap Storage at the bottom.
- Scroll to “Backup” and tap View.
- If this is your first phone backup, tap Set up data backup.
- If this isn’t your first phone backup, tap View Details.
- To review backup settings, tap Manage backup.
- Choose your backup settings.
NOTE: If you get a message to install an app, update an app or change your settings, follow the onscreen steps. Then, go back to the Google One app to finish.
- If asked, tap Allow Permissions.
- At the top left, tap Back.
NOTE: Google One backups may take up to 24 hours to complete.
Protecting All Devices: Cybersecurity Risk Assessment
While these features enhance phone security, they are not exhaustive solutions. To ensure the security of all devices on your network, consider a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment. Schedule a free assessment by contacting us at 717-914-0102 or clicking here. By staying informed and utilizing these security features, users can actively contribute to safeguarding their personal and professional data in the ever-evolving landscape of digital threats.