Hot Tips

Keeping Your Smartphone Safe & Secure

In today’s high-tech world, information is everywhere...including information on how to hack into your computer, smartphone, or tablet.  Worrying about the safety of your information has become increasingly common, especially when the news constantly reports malicious attacks on your online accounts from Twitter to Gmail to LinkedIn. 

In recent years, however, we as a society have become more dependent on using our smartphones and tablets to access information on the go.  According to a Pinow.com article, one in four Americans will lose their cell phones EVERY YEAR!   This is quite astonishing considering the fact that cell phones have become a practical lifeline for many people.

For the one in four Americans, the cost of the smartphone might be their biggest concern (especially considering smartphones can cost more than $500.00).  The information on the smartphone, however, can be worth more than just money.  Think of the information that you keep on your device: e-mail, mobile banking, contacts, passwords, etc.  Because of this, it is progressively more important for people to protect their data.

Ways to Protect Your Smartphone

·         Password Protection: Create a password to access your phone and make sure that your voicemail and accounts are also password protected.  Change the password often to avoid someone learning it.

·         Antivirus Programs: Utilizing a reputable antivirus program can help your phone from being hacked.

·         Backup Programs:  Backup your information regularly – but make sure you keep your data encrypted.

·         App Security: Only install reputable apps.  Do not allow an app access to your information, email accounts, etc.  Read the disclaimers to make sure you aren’t going to be charged.

·         Physical Security: Be aware of your surroundings.  Do not leave your phone lying around.  Turn off geo-tagging to prevent people from following your movements.

·         Connectivity: Turn off the ‘Automatically connect to Wi-Fi’ feature on your cell phone. Like a computer connected to the internet, this feature allows anyone to be able to steal your passwords and other vital information.

What do you do if someone stole your Smartphone?

  1. Use your phone’s tracking software to locate the device
  2. Use a program to wipe your information off of the phone’s SIM card remotely.
  3. Notify the cell phone carrier and tell them to terminate the phone’s service and place a note in your account stating that the phone was stolen.
  4. Report the theft to the police.