- Have a strong passcode
- Browser tools to help you create and remember passwords
- Use Password manager apps
- Have two-step or two-factor authentication
- Make use of security keys
- Change your passwords from time to time
These days most mobile smartphones are Android Samsung Galaxy phones or iOS iPhones have some great features to keep your mobile device and data safe. You have various ways to lock your phone: the common being having a passcode or password, face recognition software, fingerprint and iris scanning and many other wonderful secure ways to keep your mobile safe from data theft or from misuse of your phone. There are now numerous browser features, third-party tools, and even hardware dongles designed to help keep your login credentials safe and secure.
Keep Mobile Safe with Password Tips
1. Have a strong passcode
This is the most commonly used by mobile users to lock and unlock their phones. You can make or create a strong password for your mobile. The best way is to mix numbers, letters and signs which are difficult to guess. Do not use common words, your date of birth or name initials or your marriage anniversary dated as the people who know you well might track this down. Instead create passwords which can be something from your past that no one knows like the street you first lived, your cat’s birthday, your favourite celebrity TV show or even when you first quit your job; such dates people are least bothered to know.
The second is to keep the password long enough maybe 8 to 15 characters long. Also don’t merely use only alphabets or numbers but make use of a mixture of characters or special characters, and don’t repeat the same password across multiple accounts otherwise your entire digital identity could be unlocked in one fell swoop.
Experts advise using a passphrase if you must come up with your own password, which means a random collection of words, interspersed with special characters and numbers. But trying to remember a passphrase for every single account is not that easy so you need to get help from your device itself so that it remembers your password like an auto-fill tool.
2. Browser tools to help you create and remember passwords
The browsers that you use today on your mobile be it chrome or safari not only save your passwords for you—but also they can recommend new, secure passwords whenever you need to create a new one, and can even warn you when you’re using the same password across multiple accounts.
If you are using an iOS phone then from the Safari menu, choose Preferences, then open the Autofill tab and put a tick next to Usernames and passwords. Click the associated Edit button to see all the passwords Safari has saved so far. You’ll see orange exclamation points next to the accounts that don’t have a unique password, so you might want to get those changed.
If you find yourself on a new sign-up page somewhere on the web, you’ll see Safari puts a key icon into the password box. Click this, then pick Suggest New Password to have the browser suggest a password that’s longer and stronger than anything your feeble brain can come up with. If you try entering your own password, Safari will rate its strength.
Even when you use the latest version of Chrome when you have connected a Google account and synced all your information you can save passwords. You can go to Settings from the app menu and then when you click inside a password box you’ll see a Suggest Strong Password option you can use if it doesn’t appear, right-click inside the password box and pick Generate password to get the desired help.
Note that the same password-generating features haven’t found their way to other browsers like Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge, but they do remember and sync your passwords for you.
3. Use Password manager apps
The password managers apps also generate and remember passwords for you as a browser, not just on the web and instead across your mobile devices too. They can even be used to store security information that you don’t have to tap into a phone where you enter a PIN to unlock the device.
These password managers typically install themselves as browser extensions, on the watch for any time a password needs creating or entering, with everything protected by one master password. One such is LastPass, where you click the browser extension button and then Generate a Secure Password o create a new password: You even get to set the parameters like password length, if they need to be specific.
Some of the best apps of such kind are 1Password, Dashlane, and Keeper. Even though browsers are now adding some of the same functionality, a dedicated app often brings with it some useful extras, like secure and protected file storage.
4. Have two-step or two-factor authentication
You can enable two-factor authentication on all the accounts you can be it connected to your email on mobile, Facebook app account or any other social media app, or any other. It means that even if someone should get hold of your username and password, that person still can’t access your account as they still need an extra code typically sent to your phone as a text message or voice call on your mobile to authenticate and verify that it’s you only and not any other person trying to capture your mobile or any associated account.
You can also have a backup option along with two-factor authentication in case you lose access to your phone and you wish to login from your device. When your mobile phone or computer has been recognised, you don’t have to use two-factor authentication every time on that particular device.
Most apps and services deploy two-factor authentication in more or less the same way. Like in Facebook or Instagram, for you can enable Two-Factor Authentication, then follow the prompts on screen.
5. Make use of security keys
These days specially the banking sector and many other software companies as well as Google provide security keys to have your password and data safe on your mobile or PC. This acts as a very useful extra layer of protection on top of your super-strong password. It works like two-factor authentication because you need another ‘credential’ for account access.
However, whereas texted codes can be intercepted by determined hackers, a two-factor authentication dongle is something physical you have on your person. Someone would have to know your username and password and steal your security key device, in order to gain access to your account on a computer or mobile you haven’t logged into before.
These keys can work via NFC/Bluetooth or a USB port to prove you are who you say you are, but only some accounts support the tech like Facebook, Dropbox, or Google. You can buy keys straight from Google , or get one from Amazon like the FIDO U2F standard, to keep your device safe and sound.
6. Change password
Finally, it is your duty to keep your passcodes safe. Many people especially the elder or people with dementia don’t remember their passcodes. The best way is to either save in your Password manager tool or jot down in your personal diary and keep it in a safe and locked place or cabinet.
Also it is better to change your passwords frequently. Also if there are accounts or apps you’ve not used in a long while, close them down and disconnect them from the apps you do use on your mobile phones. Remember safety is in your hands.