How To Secure Your Mobile PDF Print E-mail

Secure Your Mobile Phone

Securing your mobile device is one of the most important parts to personal identity security in today's world. It is essential that you are able to protect private data and information that are found within most phones walking the streets. Everyone should learn the following best practices in keeping a smart phone safe and secure. Don't lose your important data, photos, and documents because you have not taken a few basic steps to protecting yourself. It is not difficult to follow these basic rules and you will be much more at ease if your phone should ever go missing or be stolen.

If you do not have a password on your smartphone device such as an Apple iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or Windows mobile phone you are putting yourself at significant security risk and you should do so immediately. At a minimum if you have a smart phone you likely have synced your email to the phone and this simple access and can provide a criminal an excellent gateway into compromising many more online accounts. Having your personal data stolen can be frightening and potentially a long term problem consisting of regular issues with financial and banking matters and much more so take the time to secure your mobile device to protect the data from immediately being accessed and set a plan to follow to wipe the data off the phone and have the capability to track and retrieve your phone.

Security is not just a physical world problem with mobile devices like any computer they are also susceptible to malware and software hacks that can remotely gain access to your personal information. Being aware of this potential problem is critical in taking the necessary steps to not fall victim to these types of crimes and security lapses.

Find My iPhone

The first app that any iPhone owner should set up after they create a password for the phone, is to install and configure Find My iPhone. Using iCloud this application will allow you to have remote access to the device and shut it down. If you misplace the phone or it is stolen it is critical to be able to remotely wipe the memory of the phone and eliminate access to any apps you had installed. This is one way to quickly reduce the stress that is caused when you have an accident with a smartphone. This application also works with the Apple iPad.

Mobile Security Tips

A few basic tips on how to secure your mobile phone to keep your contacts, messages, and private information out of the hands of others.

  • Use a password - Failing to use the standard password systems available to smart phone is just plain laziness. Both android and iphone devices have the ability to set up a password that is quick and easy to enter and open the phone, yet difficult enough to prevent the average thief from eventually gaining access to the device or someone just picking up the phone to check your text messages, email communications, and other basic data that is readily available.
  • Install a Security App - Apps such as iCloud installed on the phone provide you the ability to both track the location of your iPhone remotely and delete all of the personal data that may be kept on the device. You can also use apps such as Find My iPhone to use another iOS device to locate the location of your phone if you do not have access to your iCloud account, but can get a friend to download Find My iPhone on there device.
  • Download from App Stores Only - While most users only download apps from the major app stores there are countless number of mobile app stores that have free and paid apps available for download. While most of these are very legitimate, be careful using third party app stores and installing software that has zero reviews onto your phone as it may contain malware or other malicious code that can steal your personal information for unscrupulous use.
  • Limit Use on Open / Public Networks - Just like you should never use your credit cards to make purchases on public networks you should be very cautious purchasing and clicking on random links or pages that may pop up on your mobile device while browsing on a public internet connection. You should always be cautious and error on the side of the network being compromised and your information that you transmit is being tracked and evaluated for potential personal information or credit card data.
  • Be Cautious of Clicking Links - The mobile web is rampant with bad websites and potential harmful activities similar to a web browser so be careful of clicking on links on less than reputable websites.
  • Keep Software / Apps Updated - When apps are out of date you should install the new versions. I make a habit of checking on the weekend when I am home that all apps are up to date and that the software for the phone is up to date as well, by plugging the phone to my laptop and doing a sync. Try and aim for at least once a week to update all apps, especially if you have lots of applications on the phone it is likely that there will be an update of some kind at least every week.
  • Use a Back Up Service for Apps / Data - Back up the information you have installed on the phone and the documents, pictures, and videos you may create on the device should always be backed up to the cloud or a personal computer at a minimum. If you loose the device you will want to be able to wipe all data on the phone quickly and not delay in the hopes that you may get it returned or found.
  • Have an Action Plan for Losing the Device - Know what you need to do if the phone is lost. Have a plan ready to implement to log in and delete the data that may be on the phone. Have your mobile phone companies customer service number accessible and call and notify them of the theft. This will get the sim card cancelled. They may have some additional items to do in order to secure your personal information and make sure you get a phone quickly so that you can continue with your day. Remember to relax as a phone being lost can be a traumatic experience for some as we have become very accustomed to always having the device available for reaching out to friends and locating information.
  • Use Autolock - Have the autolock feature of the phone set so that it locks after a few seconds of inactivity. Most users have to determine the acceptable time allowed for auto lock to turn on based on there routine, but you do not want to wait more than 30 - 45 seconds for autolock to be initiated.
  • Review Phone Bill / App Account Monthly for Charges - Each month always review your phone bill for any odd or unusual charges and contact the billing department for questions. Also check your credit card that is registered with your smartphone for any app or content purchases that you did not make.
  • Careful with Bluetooth - While bluetooth is excellent for headsets the connection can be used by other devices to access your mobile phone and so when in large public areas it is suggested to turn off the bluetooth and NFC or any other short range communication frequencies that your phone has installed.

Mobile Security Apps for Android

  1. Avast Free Mobile Security is an anti malware and anti theft app that provides you protection while on the mobile web browsing sites. When you visit a site that is questionable and may contain malware you will be prompted so you can navigate away from the harmful site. It has several other security features such as scanning apps that are installing and a call filtering feature for blocking numbers that you do not want to receive calls from.

  2. Webroot Secure Anywhere Mobile - is a standard malware protection app that also blocks phishing website,and allows you to block calls and text messages. After setting this app up it is easy to track its location on a map to find it later and even make it sound an alarm.

  3. AVG Mobilation Anti Virus Free - Is another free version of malware protection for both smartphones and tablets based on the well liked AVG software that is very popular among PC users. A cool feature of this app is it has a password protection feature that can be placed on each individual app, so that every app is individually password protected.

  4. Norton Mobile Security - The premium version is a significant cost at $29.99, however there is a lite version for free that provides browser security and phone security features such as call and sms blocking. A remote security portion of the app also includes a camera feature allows you to locate the devices location and get a picture of whomever may be using the device which can help law enforcement get your phone back.

  5. Eset Mobile Security - Provides the standard malware prevention, but also has a great contact back up feature and remote locating and alarm. Apps will be reviewed upon install and ensured that they are clean and will not corrupt your mobile.

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