Did you know that it’s not just our desk top computers and laptops that can be vulnerable to viruses and malicious software (usually shortened to malware) attacks but now that the majority of us are using smartphones even our humble cell phone could fall victim to a fake or rogue app, unwanted software, or malware. And if one of these unscrupulous and undesirable programs has installed itself on your cell phone not only can this seriously compromise your security and invade your privacy but it could be costing you money too.
As our technology grows ever more portable and we have new ways of being connected to the world, hackers and cyber criminals are rejoicing in the fact that they now have even more ways to attack us and earn a fast buck. Therefore it’s important to make sure you know what should and shouldn’t be on your phone and to know approximately how much data usage your activities normally add up to. This way you’ll be able to spot unusual activity quickly and nip any infection in the bud.
If your data usage has suddenly sky rocketed and you are using way more than you normally do then you should be suspicious. Extra usage means extra fees so make sure you aren’t paying for something you’re not using by setting data limits which will keep you routinely up to date with regards to how much data you are using as well as avoiding excess costs.
Here we take a look at two different types of cell phone operating systems and tell you how you can set your data limits.
First of all make sure that you check your tariff or your data plan. If you set a limit this will NOT include Wi-Fi data, therefore you need to be sure that it will reflect your SIM or tariff allowance limit with accuracy.
Next go to your phone’s ‘Settings’ and under the ‘Wireless & Networks’ category select ‘Data Usage’.
In ‘Data Usage’ select ‘Data Usage Cycle’ and then choose the date range that you want to set the usage cycle to. To make it easier to stay in control we suggest you set the date range on your cell to the same range as your period of billing.
Next drag the orange line on the right hand side of the graph to a level that you feel best reflects your data usage. This will set your data usage warning. What this means is that if and when your data usage meets that level, you will be sent a notification.
If you would prefer to be even more in control and want to set a specific data limit you need to check the ‘Set Mobile Data Limit’ box. Hit ‘OK’ when the dialog box appears. Next drag the red line over the graph from the right to the point where you want to set that limit.
When the limit has been reached you will be notified and your cell will cease to use mobile data. It will still use Wi-Fi when it is available and if you do want to use mobile data you do have the option of overriding the data usage limit.
One slight issue to be aware of is that sometimes your phone and the network’s records may not be completely in sync so some inaccuracies may occur. In general you will be much better protected if you set data warnings and limits but you might want to set the warning and limit levels slightly below your actual limits just to further ensure that your data is not being abused by an unscrupulous third party.
Now, the bad news for all you iPhone or iPad users is that as of this date, Apple has not enabled a means of setting data warnings or limits on your device. This doesn’t mean that you can’t still keep an eye on your data usage however and you should still make it a point to check for any suspicious spikes in usage.
To check the levels of data usage on your Apple iPhone or other iOS device go to ‘Settings’ select ‘General’ and then choose ‘Usage’. Scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will see details of your data usage. It would be good practice to get into the habit of checking this on a regular basis just so that if you do see anything unusual you can take steps to prevent somebody else from using your data.
Whichever side of the operating system fence you fall on: Android v. iOS make sure that you are protecting your data – and your hard earned cash!