- Not using a password: Failing to set a password is one careless mistake most people make without realizing it. Using a password doesn't mean you have secrets. Spouses who understand the need for passwords use it but keep same as a secret only from others.
There is nothing like an ideal society where people won’t be tempted to know your small secrets once they have access to your phone. This mistake also makes it easier for criminals to sell off stolen phones.
How about your passwords, emails, contacts, bank information and other access codes? An unprotected phone can lead to blackmails if criminals finds something worth using against the owner.
When you use a password, try a hard-to-guess one which shouldn’t be anything like your birthday, house number, ID number etc.
Do not let your text or chat messages appear on lock screen. Leaving your personal information open on lock screen is almost as bad as not having a password.
- Texting or answering calls while driving: If a driver does this and avoids accidents, the act may be considered okay for many but this is wrong. So many drivers have killed on the road due to this smart phone addiction. Everyone knows how hard it is for most people to stay away from their smart phones but it’s not worth a life, not even yours.
A driver can never be too careful with a divided attention. It is advised that drivers should use headsets while driving if they must take calls. Stopping for a few minutes to send a text message could save a driver, passengers and other road users.
- Public Wifi: There is no free lunch even in Freetown. Using public wifi networks feels great but there are risks that come with the devil’s meal. Hackers find it easier to attack phones and computers using public networks. Stay safe.
How can you use a public wifi safely? 1. Use mobile data instead. 2. Get a VPN. 3. Stop your phone from connecting to wifi automatically.
- Texting while walking: People who use phones while walking may think it’s not bad in any way. Yes, that may be right but not always.
Some people have been crushed by moving trains because the sound from the earpiece wouldn’t let them hear the horns. People have also moved against the traffic or fallen into holes because they were carried away by whatever was happening on their phones.
While walking on the streets it might benefit you to look around and be observant. You can’t know if you’re being followed or about to be kidnapped if you’re engrossed in your smart phone.
- Online shopping through a phone browser: Plugins are used in computers during online transactions but a phone hardly and does not use plugins. This makes your phone prone to Trojan viruses which can steal banking details, passwords and more.
- Scanning unknown QR Codes: It’s cool how technology has made life easy for us. Now we can make payments through QR codes. We can also check a product’s quality, add contacts, and buy tickets or bus cards.
As QR codes have become a powerful marketing and advertising tool, it has also been modified by hackers as a means of spreading malwares and viruses. Do not scan QR codes if you are not familiar with the source.
- Visiting links from text messages: It is not bad to visit links from text messages or emails if they are from a trusted person who would also not betray they trust.
If a link is received from an unknown sender, it could be probably a phishing attack which can direct you to a site that looks real but is fake. You might be tempted to enter your bank details or other personal information which in return grants hackers permission to clean up your bank accounts.
- Making calls while the phone is charging: Phone users have been warned to stay away from using their phones while charging. It is dangerous due to the increased radiation and could cause an explosion or as in some cases, electrocution.
It is also not advisable to cover phones while it is charging to avoid explosions which could come as a result of over-heating
- Making long calls: When you can’t avoid talking on the phone for long hours, remember this. Mobile phones transmit radio waves through a series of base stations. Radio frequency waves are electromagnetic fields that cannot break chemical bonds or cause ionization in the human body, says the World Health Organization (WHO). But adults and especially children might suffer the long-term effects of radiation waves on the brain. Phone users are advised to use the device only for messages and very short calls.
- Sleeping with your phone near or under the pillow: Most of us have become so attached to our smart phones that we can’t keep it an inch away, even while in bed. Sometimes, people sleep with their devices at hand or slot it close to the pillow. Be warned. Keeping a mobile phone near the pillow causes the electronic device to pump out electromagnetic radiation which increases our health risks.
Put the phone away while you sleep. If you can’t stay away from it, switch on the ‘Airplane mode’ or turn it off. It’ll be right there waiting when you wake up.