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Most people know the risks of digital communications, such as getting hacked, but they don’t take the necessary steps to keep their phones secure. Instead, they rely on free apps with vulnerabilities, including insufficient encryption.

Some of these companies that claim to care about security sell user data to marketing companies in ways they don’t disclose. This Christmas season, it’s wise to give the gift of security to yourself, your business, even family and friends.

Here’s what to look for in an encrypted mobile solution.

Strongest Encryption Available

There’s a major difference between free apps offering “end-to-end” encryption and the leading devices built with military-grade encryption at rest and in transit. Free apps present risks and don’t secure your device. They also don’t promise your personal data isn’t being shared with marketers.

Be sure to use an encrypted mobile phone protected by military-grade encryption delivered through a private server, or you’ll be relying on an inferior form of security. It should have the option to encrypt everything, from calling to pictures, messages to contacts and everything in your notebook.

A private server eliminates the risks associated with outsourcing to third-party data centres, where it can be hard to know about their routines for maintenance, backup protocols and physical access. Additionally, look for a company that provides 24/7 security and protects against man-in-the-middle attacks, ensuring uninterrupted service. Ensure your provider doesn’t store messages on their server and only retain essential information such as your username, account activation and expiry date.

Fixing Every Back-End Vulnerability 

What if hackers can obtain your phone’s confidential material through some other remote method? Service providers can only be trusted if they can prove their device is encrypted. You don’t want to work with a phone provider that allows you to store images on their cloud and then scan the pictures to look for irregularities. 

These companies claim to have built backdoors for select purposes, but you can’t keep bad actors out of systems that allow others to access your private data, even if well-intended.

No Third-Party Apps

Apps pose major security vulnerabilities, and most users don’t read the permissions policy. Once you download an app, it can be difficult to know how your data is used, shared, modified or monitored.

You can be confident when you select a company that takes security seriously if it customizes phones with modern functionality while deliberately ensuring it is incompatible with third-party apps. 

Secondary Features Galore

To protect your privacy, you want security features on your device itself in addition to encryption and underlying back-end protections. A lock screen with a custom pin is an essential line of defence. 

Users also need a tamper-proof feature that lets users create a duress password, so the phone instantly deletes any sensitive material if someone enters the wrong password too many times. This way, your data will be secure even if a thief gets ahold of your phone.

A self-destruction feature lets users control the lifespan of pictures and messages, ensuring these items are destroyed at a scheduled time on both devices, even without a data connection. These messages and images can’t be forwarded or saved — even if favourited — on either device. 

It’s hard to find somebody who doesn’t use a smartphone today, yet few people take the necessary precautions to prevent a hack and get a phone with all the above features. End the year on a safe note with the peace of mind of digital phone security by getting a device that has these privacy features, and you’ll enjoy a safe and secure New Year.