5 tips for protecting your mobile device
You keep a lot of data and memories on your mobile device … but did you know that it probably also contains just as much personal information as your computer?
Each day, we use our mobile devices in public places, and most apps can be opened without a password. This means that our smartphones and tablets are increasingly popular targets for fraud, and users need to watch out for threats like identity theft and unwanted surveillance.
Adopt these five good habits to protect your personal information and keep the contents of your mobile device private.
1. Activate automatic locking on your device
To make sure that nobody takes over your email, social media accounts, contacts and more, you should:
- Program your device so that it requires a passcode after 5 minutes of inactivity.
- Activate fingerprint authentication on your device, or choose a strong passcode. Avoid easily typed or obvious codes like “1234”, “2580” (straight line down) and “1379” (4 corners of the keypad). Android and iOS also let you activate custom or alphanumeric codes—you might want to use this feature. Ask your mobile service provider for more details. Make sure that you don’t store your passwords in a notepad app of any kind.
2. Update your apps and system regularly
Just like a computer, you need to update your mobile device. That way your data stays safe and your device still functions correctly.
- Configure automatic updates for your device and apps.
- Download a mobile security app. You can find some for free.
3. Use your judgment when hooking up to Wi-Fi
Avoid making online purchases, financial transactions and sending confidential information from public Wi-Fi networks Your information might be intercepted.
- Connect your device to secure networks that require a password.
- Use your cellular data.
4. Only download reputable apps
There are a lot of apps in the mobile app stores. Be careful! There are malicious apps out there. Use official stores, like Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
Before downloading an app, ask yourself:
- How many people have downloaded this before me?
- Can user comments tell me about the app’s quality?
- What authorizations does the app need?
When in doubt, go with a different app.
5. Have a plan for if your device is lost or stolen
When you lose your mobile device, your personal information is at stake—and you might lose a bunch of data and pictures!
- You should regularly back your mobile device up, either to your personal computer or the Cloud.
- Register your device with a remote tracking system.
- Activate the remote data wipe option for your device, in case it is permanently lost.
- Before selling your device or getting it repaired, back your mobile device up to a personal computer or the Cloud, then erase its contents. You can transfer your data back over when you’ve recovered your device.
- If you have an external memory card/SD card (Android), remove it before selling your device or getting it repaired, and learn how to encrypt your data so that it can’t be read without a password.
To change the security settings on your mobile device, check your user manual or contact your mobile service provider.