Americans are among the world’s fastest adopters of smartphones, with almost two-thirds of customers currently using a smartphone. The ability to connect anytime and anywhere is one of the reasons that Americans love their smartphones. You want to connect to your friends and family, and enjoy the convenience of conducting personal and professional business in the palms of your hands. More and more, you are using your smartphones to store personal data, including financial information and work-related data.
What we all tend to ignore is the fact that:
- Information sent from a mobile phone is vulnerable.
- Information stored on mobile phones is vulnerable.
- Phones are designed to give out information about their location
- So where does that leaves us? Vulnerable, helpless or vigilant? Get ready to protect your data, and to protect yourself.
Smartphones need to be updated when security fixes are developed. While some updates simply provide you with cooler functionality and upgraded features, others fix critical security vulnerabilities that you do not want to be exposed to. Your service provider should notify you whenever an update is available; ignore these at your own peril.
Keep Security Software Current. Make sure your mobile device has the latest security software, web browser and operating system installed.
Lock Your Phone
Use a password to lock your cell phone. Strong passwords are longer than five characters and contain upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. You can change the normal four digit pin codes typically found on iPhones and other devices to accept more advanced security passwords.
Think Before You App
Get savvy about Wi‐Fi hotspots
Limit the type of business you conduct on your cell phone while connected to public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Stick to your 3G or 4G network when in public spaces.
Think before you click
Before responding, registering, downloading or providing information, get the facts. No matter how tempting the offer, if the download isn’t from an app store or the site of a trusted company, walk away.
Remotely wipe all data
Many handsets are now capable of running applications which allow you to stop someone getting access to your data and if you’re sure you can’t recover it, to delete your data. Download Lookout, which will do it for you. It’s available for Android, BlackBerry and Windows phones.
Always backup your data
Take a little time to think about what would happen if you lost your phone, phone numbers and photographs and how it would affect you.