Smartphones are ubiquitous these days. Everyone and their grandmother has all of their important personal information, ease of communication with anyone, and anything they could ever want to obtain at their fingertips.
But with new technology comes new crime, and hackers have become more and more savvy in recent years. With all this computing power and sensitive information bouncing around through the air, it’s important to consider security on your mobile phone.
Here are a few simple tips for staying safe with your smartphone.
Set a Passcode
An easy way to prevent anyone from breaking into your phone is to set a passcode. Whether it’s a combination of numbers, a word, or pattern of swiping, a passcode is a simple way to gain some peace of mind. More than half of all smartphone usersdo not password protect their phone. Considering how easy it is to lose your phone pretty much anywhere, that’s not the best idea. Think of all the personal information, contacts, and apps that would be out in the open.
Look for HTTPS
When shopping on your smartphone, or even just browsing, keep an eye on your browser. The ‘s’ at the end of ‘https’ stands for secure. It’s just an extra step that you should look for when putting in any kind of personal information: credit card, account, or social security numbers.
Keep Software Updated
A large part of the reason that operating systems and apps release so many updates is security.
Hackers are always looking out for vulnerabilities in software that will allow them to gain backdoor access to your information. By installing every software update that becomes available, you’ll ensure that you’re on top of your security.
Jailbreaking a phone means that you’ve removed the software restrictions that tie your phone to one carrier. While that can provide the illusion of ease and simplicity, the cons far outweigh the pros of jailbreaking. Opening your phone up to new carriers and apps can also open it up to security risks and weaknesses.
Beware of Public Wi-Fi
Free, public wi-fi is gaining popularity and becoming more widespread. The flexibility that it affords while out and about is great, but being on public wi-fi also opens you up to security breaches. You may not know it, but is that your usernames, passwords and other personal information can be stolen by someone who is connected to the same network as you are. Stay safe on public wi-fi by enabling your firewall, turning wi-fi off when you aren’t using it and turning off sharing. And be sure to watch out for false wi-fi networks. Some hackers will actually set up a “free” dummy network that lets them gain access to your information.
Install Security Software
The app market is a good place to look for security software. Just like your laptop or other computers, you should invest in protecting your smartphone. A good security app will include malware prevention and an automatic security advisor, which will alert you to security risks when you change settings on your phone.
Set Your Screen to Lock Automatically
You may think it’s more convenient to keep your phone unlocked, in case you want to pick it back up again, but with the rate of stolen and lost phones these days, better safe than sorry.
Leaving your phone unlocked can set you up for a nightmare when it comes to security.
Backup Your Data
It’s incredibly easy to backup your phone, and all of the information on it, wirelessly and automatically. Set up those automatic late-night backups so that in the event of a lost or stolen phone, it’s easy to get everything back where it needs to be. With all the weight and value we place on our mobile devices these days, wouldn’t you sleep a little better knowing that you’ve taken the steps to secure your information? When it comes to your phone, better safe than sorry.