Get more from your Xmas smartphone

Electronic devices are always a big stocking filler. Millions of people are going to be turning on new devices for the first time this Christmas. Here's a few pointers to get the most out of your new device and stay safe.

Last year sales of smartphones during the 2013 Christmas period reached 283 million units. This year with the release of the new iphone 6 as well as numerous rivals from Sasmung, Nokia, LG and others, there could be a massive increase on smartphone sales.

Smartphones come loaded with most of the basics you need to get started, but consider some alternatives to the big names. There are versions of chat apps, email apps and media apps that simplify, add new features or add extra security. Security should be your first priority when setting up a new smartphone.

Don't forget the security

Encrypt your phone: encrypting your phone gives paranoid levels of protection. If you lose your data the only way to recover it will be from an external backup. It is extremely secure and modern devices will notice little to no difference in performance.

Lock your Screen: hard to believe but 39% of people don't take any security measures. We focus a lot on digital threats but you shouldn't neglect the physical threat, a screen lock is central to that. Personally I prefer a simple pin and it is more effective that the swipe pattern, but a swipe is still better than nothing.

Be careful when linking accounts: it's amazing how much you can now access with just one account such as a google account. But it adds risk if one account is hacked, all your other account are hacked. One of the main benefits of linked accounts is you don't have remember as many passwords, but using a password manager gives you the convenience without any of the risks.

Get ZenMate stay safe and unlock the internet It's simple, available across a range of devices and we have a free version. It encrypts your browser traffic, keeping you safe when shopping with your smartphone or accessing the internet through public wifi. ZenMate can also avoid geo-restriction, letting you accessing a huge amount of content.

We hope you get what you want this Christmas and stay safe. Let us know in the comments if you have any other tips for new smartphone owners.