Taking precautions to make sure your smartphone (and all of the information in it) stays secure, isn’t something many of us think about. By following just a few basic security tips, you can learn to protect your smartphone from viruses and exposing personal information that could lead to identity theft. Whether you use it for work or play, your phone contains a lot of confidential information that could be accessed a variety of different ways.
- Get an anti-malware app: Just like there is anti-virus software for your computer, you should have protection for your smart phone too. Any device that connects to the internet is susceptible, download an anti-malware app for your phone to browse safely.
- Update as soon as possible: installing any updates for your smart phone’s operating system is always important, especially for security reasons. Continuing to run outdated versions of your OS, especially those with known security issues, leaves you your phone (and, inherently, your personal information) vulnerable
- Be smart about the apps you download: sticking to apps from reputable sources, from trusted developers is important. Download from sites that you know you can trust, with plenty of user reviews. Be particularly cautious about free apps, these tend to be the most dangerous. In addition, make sure you don’t allow apps to access information that is unnecessary. Read the fine print and don’t automatically allow updates, and access to information stored in your phone. When you’re prompted to allow access, make sure you understand what information will be shared with the app.
- Be careful what you do on public WiFi: connecting to local WiFi hotspots is common practice, and it’s perfectly fine for checking your email, getting directions, or just browsing. However, if you’re going to be accessing your bank account online, shopping, making payments, or doing anything involving sensitive information, avoid it until you’re on your own secure network at home. Same goes for Bluetooth, disable yours when in a public place, as it is just another way to allow access to your smartphone’s information.
- Check your email securely: if you use an app on your smartphone to access your email accounts, make sure it is using either a HTTPS or SSL connection, to encrypt all transmitted data and allow for safe messaging.