We spend the day glued to our mobile phone and, on many occasions, we are not even using it well. Smartphones are a true marvel capable of fulfilling a multitude of functions, but they also pose a danger to our privacy. It’s easy to get distracted with your cell phone. How many times have you been at home quietly thinking that you were on Wi-Fi while you were drinking up all the data watching an episode of a series? The function of connecting to wireless networks is one of the functions considered most harmless by users and, consequently, the one that, due to ignorance, we use in a more irresponsible way.
Why do you have to turn off your mobile Wi-Fi when leaving home?
The first solution to the panic that we all have about being at home using data instead of Wi-Fi is to leave this function on permanently. Whether for this reason or due to an oversight, keeping our phone searching for wireless networks is a terrible idea. It is not that we are spending battery foolishly, since neither iOS nor Android devices consume too much energy for this function. Everything we can save is interesting, but the real problem is related to security.
Being in constant search for wireless networks or connecting to them only because they do not require passwords or we have already entered them – something that in many cases happens automatically – is a questionable idea. Most likely there will be no problems, but we are leaving the door open to security breaches on our device. These increase the more internet access points we use. Basically, expanding the number means that the information on our phone is shared with more different networks, to the point that we cannot walk around the city without being located at all times. If you have logged in once at the corner bar, once at the gym and then at the supermarket; It’s easy for other people to detect your exact position while you’re just strolling around without worries.
How to deactivate the Wi-Fi on our phone and increase security
Almost any device has the option to deactivate Wi-Fi by removing the drop-down menu once we have unlocked our mobile. However, this is not enough. It’s not just about deactivating it visually. We must also remove all wireless networks to which we have connected in the past except those that we consider essential. This is a matter of mere probability: the fewer networks we have, the lower our exposure to potential problems.
We must combine the deletion of useless networks and shutdown with an additional process in case we use Android. These systems use both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for location and have a very important warning: even when we manually turn off these services, it allows them to search for nearby networks or devices to connect to. It’s very important to uncheck these two boxes which you can find in the section Settings > Location / Location.
An option to use public Wi-Fi: install a VPN
Finally, we know that not everyone has enough data to be able to use it without worry when they leave home. We recommend taking a look at our consumption and rate. If we are simply going to be listening to music on Spotify, doing two or three searches on Google and sending messages on WhatsApp; Maybe we don’t need to use Wi-Fi. But in any case, if what we want is to connect to a public network, it is best to have a VPN installed on our phone, tablet or laptop.
Additionally, we can configure our phone’s Wi-Fi so that it is only active in certain locations. Although this involves sharing our location at all times, it can be the “lesser evil” for the most clueless. In general, both iOS and Android offer us a thousand solutions to privacy or security problems. The problem is that the factory settings rarely help us to be protected in this sense.