These days, our smartphones and tablets might contain more data about us than our desktop computers or laptops. Their GPS can tell where you are and when, what emails you have, who you communicate with most, and what apps you have and use, from online banking to social media. It’s important to keep all of this information safe! By following the tips below, you can ensure that your mobile device doesn’t become a traveling security risk.
- Enable a passcode or password on device. Choose something strong and that has no relevance or association with important dates or other numbers in your life, such as you or a close relative’s birthday, social security number, or similar information.
- Disable wireless features when not in use, including Bluetooth, Wifi, or NFC. Some people can use this data to track you, even if you’re not actively connected to any other devices or networks.
- Be alert to phishing and spam attacks on your mobile device. Attempts to steal your personal information aren’t just limited to desktops and laptops – if you receive a suspicious message on your mobile device, it’s best to ignore it or report it to your service provider.
- Be wary of apps which request your location, especially those that want it when the app itself is closed.
- Pay close attention to requests for information or other data on your device when you install or first use an app. If you install a flashlight app on your phone and it asks for permission to view your contacts and photos, it’s probably malware! Deny the request, uninstall the app, and look for a different one instead.
- Install or activate tracking software on your phone in the event it becomes lost or stolen. Most device manufacturers today offer this service for free, and cell providers themselves usually have an additional service (paid) if your device doesn’t have this feature.