October 3, 2016

Smartphone Security

Sharing personal information online has become commonplace in the age of social media.  However, there is information that is stored on our mobile devices that should not be shared – voluntarily or otherwise.  Improve your smartphone security by following a few basic tips:

Back It Up

Back up your device on a regular basis.  If something does go wrong with it, or it’s lost or stolen, you will be able to quickly recover your data.

Password Protect

Many people do not password protect their phones so that they have easy and immediate access to their information.  However, using a password is the most basic way to protect your phone. There are different variations on passwords – numeric, alphanumeric, pattern, and fingerprint recognition. 
Uncheck the box to “make password visible”.
Consider also password protecting various elements of your smartphone for added security – ex. your SIM and SD cards.

Remote Wipe

Set up your device so that if it is lost or stolen, you can wipe it remotely so whoever has it cannot access your data.  Also set it to wipe after a certain number of incorrect password attempts.

Download Verified Apps

Use apps from trusted sources such as iTunes, GooglePlay, etc. Whether using a more popular source or not, also check the number of downloads, ratings, and reviews to verify the trustworthiness of the app. 

Update Software

Keeping your software and operating systems up to date will not only allow you take advantage of the newest features, but will also ensure you have the latest security system.

Understand Wi-Fi Hotspots

Wi-Fi hotspots are free, public internet connections such as those found in coffee shops.  They are unsecured connections and make the personal information stored on your device vulnerable to hacking. Be wary of what information you provide over hotspots.  For example, you may not want to make purchases or pay credit card bills on an unsecured network.

Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps to change an unsecured connection, such as a Wi-Fi hotspot, into a more secure one for your device thereby adding a layer of data protection.
Don’t Jailbreak or Root your Device

Modifying the device’s operating system to customize the user experience beyond what the developer intended is referred to as Jailbreaking (Apple) or Rooting (Android).  Not only does it void your warranty, but it also creates an unsecure environment for your personal information. 


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