Everyone knows how important keeping your home or work computer secure online is. But did you know that it’s just as important, if not more so, to keep your mobile phone secure online?
Why Should I Worry About Mobile Security?
Many, many people are going online with their phones or tablets these days. In fact, you may be reading this on your phone or tablet right now! Whether you are searching for something on the web, downloading an app, or just making a post to Facebook, you are connected to the internet.
With all of the things people are doing on their mobile phones and tablets, it becomes more and more important to make sure you keep it, and yourself, safe. How many of you keep all your passwords stored on your phone or tablet so you don’t have to type them in every time you check a website? What would happen if someone you didn’t want to know that information were to get a hold of your phone or tablet?
Keeping Your Phone or Tablet Physically Safe
Use a Password or Security Pattern to Lock Your Device
When you use something other than the generic down-swipe to unlock your phone, that is one extra security step that someone has to figure out to get to your data. The more complicated, but easy for you to remember, the unlocking password or security pattern is, the harder it is for someone else to crack it.
If You Give Your Device Away, Do a Factory Reset
When you upgrade your phone, or replace your tablet with a new one, your information is still stored on your old device. Do a factory reset on the old device to remove all traces of your information from the device. Not only are you letting the person you gave your device to start with a clean slate, but you are also keeping them from being tempted to snoop through your contacts or online accounts.
If Your Device Goes Missing, Report It Promptly
If your phone or tablet is stolen or lost, you should report it to your wireless provider and/or law enforcement as soon as you can. Between these two options, they can either locate or deactivate your device remotely. Regardless of what they do, you should change the passwords for all online accounts that can be accessed by that device.
Keeping Your Phone or Tablet Software Safe
Never Store Personal Details on Your Mobile Device
Things like your bank account pin number, account passwords, or security codes should never be stored under your contact list for any reason, even under a code name. These things can be used to access your accounts if your phone or tablet is lost or stolen.
Only Install Apps from Known Sources
If something comes up to install an application and you’re not sure who they are or what the application does, you should not install that application. Those found outside of the Android Market or Apple iStore may contain malicious code that can, at best, keep track of what you’re doing on your mobile device, or at worst, monitor things such as your phone calls or passwords typed into your device.
You can also check the source of the app you’re downloading by looking at the URL (web address) it comes from. For instance, an app from www.goog.le.com is completely different from www.google.com!
When Installing an App, Check What Permissions It Requires
While many data plans offer unlimited data transfer, if yours does not and your application requires constant access to the internet, you could quickly and easily go over your allotted data, causing you to pay a lot of money for something you probably didn’t even need.
If an app requires something that puts a tax on your battery life, like your GPS, to be turned on all the time, that can cause you to go through your battery much faster than you would like.
Only Allow Automatic Updates from Apps That You Trust
This should go without saying, but when you update an app, it always seems to add more and more features that it wants access to. Unless you really trust an app, you run the risk of them gaining access to something you don’t want them to have access to with automatic updating.
What about you? Do you worry about mobile security?