Adoption of the smartphones in the United States is ever on the increase, which means there are more devices than ever that contain countless amounts of private data regarding their users. This data includes things from personal email address inboxes to social media accounts to bank accounts. Your smartphone houses a lot of important information, which means you need to take every measure possible to ensure its security.
1. Lock It
This may seem like an annoying feature to make use of, but it is highly valuable in protecting your smartphone’s data against theft. If you accidentally lose your smartphone or are the victim of a theft, an unlocked smartphone gives any passerby or thief complete access to every piece of data you access. The easiest first line of defense you can utilize is locking your phone so that it requires a PIN when the phone is turned on.
2. Download Trustworthy Apps
You really are your first best line of defense against data theft, and this is something you should take careful note of when you download apps. While one of the great things about smartphones is that you have access to countless free and inexpensive apps, you may be in for some trouble. By nature, apps require some level of access to the data you store on your phone, which means some apps could maliciously acquire access to secure areas and data they shouldn’t need. So before you go and download an app, read the reviews and research the app itself to determine if it is truly legit, and consider mobile security software.
3. Update When Prompted
Updates can be quite annoying to endure. They’re disruptive and tend to take a while to complete. Sometimes you have to connect your smartphone to your computer or download the upgrade over a wireless connection, which is also inconvenient. But avoiding these updates can leave your phone incredibly vulnerable. Android and iOS developers continue in their efforts to close loopholes and potential exploits with these upgrades. If you get behind on an update, odds are that you could be leaving your smartphone open for attack.
4. Turn Off GPS, Bluetooth& Wireless
When you aren’t using the GPS, Bluetooth and wireless features of your smartphone, you should consider disabling them. Not only are they constantly draining your battery (as they will constantly be trying to locate wireless networks, other Bluetooth devices, and gauging your location), they can also be routes malicious content will access. So in those moments when you’re not using any of these functions, you should turn them off. Before you access a public wireless network, think about what other devices could potentially access your device through it.
5. Prepare for the Worst with Remote Wipes
It may never happen, but you should consider preparing for the worst. If someone were to steal your smartphone, what information would they have access to? What damage could they inflict upon your bank account, credit score, and social networking accounts? If your answer is “a lot,” then you should consider putting a remote wipe app in place. If your phone were to be pilfered, a remote wipe app would allow you to simply turn on your computer, access your remote wipe settings via a web browser, and then relax a little. This software will remotely access your phone via a wireless or carrier signal and return the smartphone to its factory settings, completely erasing all personal information affiliated with you.