1. Auto-lock your phone. They’re small, we carry them everywhere, and unfortunately mobile phones are lost or stolen all too often. If your phone falls into the wrong hands, a password is the first line of defense for your personal data. To keep your information private, create a strong password for your phone and set your screen to auto-lock within five minutes.
2. Keep your apps and device software up to date. Hackers work diligently to discover new vulnerabilities in our apps or the software that operates our phones. Device manufacturers and app developers frequently update their software to fix newly exploited security gaps, but if you don’t download and install these updates your information is still at risk.
3. Use discretion when downloading apps. One of the most exciting things about getting a new smartphone is downloading all the great apps that are available. Unfortunately, even the most innocent-looking app can contain software designed to steal personal data, make fraudulent charges or even hijack your phone. Only download apps from sites you trust, check the app’s rating and read reviews to make sure they’re widely used and respected before you download.
4. Stick to window-shopping on public WiFi. Public WiFi networks have become ubiquitous, but security for these networks is scarce. Be careful what you do on public WiFi networks as there may be others watching network traffic. In particular stay away from making purchases and banking transactions—any communication that conveys a password, account number or credit card number—unless you are certain that you are on a secure connection.
5. Protect your phone like you protect your PC. Most people already use software to shield their PC from viruses and spyware. With so much personal data on our phones and mobile malware on the rise, our mobile devices now need the same attention. Protect yourself and your private data from malware, spyware and malicious apps by downloading a security app like Lookout Mobile Security. It’ll be installed and working in less time than it took you to read this page!