Broker Check

10 Key Tips for Securing Your Mobile Devices

| June 03, 2016

Mobile devices have most certainly brought convenience to our lives. Whether it be directions, e-mail, sharing photos or retrieving information at a moments notice....these devices do it all. However, sometimes these devices might reveal more information then you would want and without your knowledge. That's why it is important to make sure you are taking steps to protect yourself and your personal information. 

Below we have highlighted 10 tips for securing your mobile devices (We collected these key tips from the National Cyber Security AllianceBetter Business Bureau and Federal Communications Commission).

  1. Lock your phone. If your phone is lost or stolen, your personal information is at risk. Add a security code to your phone to prevent thieves from accessing your data. Then set your device to lock automatically when not in use for a specified time.
  2. Update your operating system. Those alerts on your smart phone that tell you to update your apps and operating system are more than just a minor annoyance. These updates close security loopholes and other backdoors hackers can use to access your phone without your knowledge.
  3. Install security apps that enable remote location and wiping. An important security feature widely available on smartphones, either by default or as an app, is the ability to remotely locate and erase all of the data stored on your phone, even if the phone’s GPS is off. In the case that you misplace your phone, some applications can activate a loud alarm, even if your phone is on silent. These apps can also help you locate and recover your phone when lost.
  4. Only install apps from trusted sources. Before downloading an app, conduct research to ensure the app is legitimate. Checking the legitimacy of an app may include such thing as: checking reviews, confirming the legitimacy of the app store, and comparing the app sponsor’s official website with the app store link to confirm consistency. Many apps from untrusted sources contain malware that once installed can steal information, install viruses, and cause harm to your phone’s contents.
  5. Back up your data. Make sure you have a backup of all the apps and information — especially important photos or other irreplaceable items — stored on your phone in case it’s lost, stolen, hacked or damaged.
  6. Avoid unsecured Wi-Fi. If you choose to connect to an unsecured or public Wi-Fi network, do not enter any passwords or access any personal data. Also, change the settings on your mobile device so that it doesn’t connect automatically to nearby Wi-Fi. Bad guys can use such networks as an easy means to hack your device.
  7. Turn off Bluetooth. Bluetooth creates a wireless connection between your phone and other devices or phones. If you are not actively using an enabled device, such as a headset, make sure your Bluetooth is turned off.
  8. Check your permissions. Check all of your apps to see what data they are accessing and revoke permissions for information those apps don’t need to properly operate. Check your phone’s owner’s manual or contact your wireless provider for directions on how to do so.
  9. When in doubt, don’t respond. Fraudulent text messages, calls and voicemails are on the rise. Just as with email, mobile requests for personal data or immediate action are almost always scams.
  10. Erase old mobile devices completely. If you’re selling, donating or recycling an old device , ensure all your data is completely erased and it is returned to factory settings before letting it out of your possession. There are online tutorials to teach you how to do this, or your wireless provider can walk you through the steps.

It's easy to feel a false sense of security with the data on your mobile devices since the attackers are invisible, however, following these tips will go a long way towards securing your sensitive data. By taking these precautions you increase the chances the attackers will focus on more vulnerable targets.

--From your Financial Team at Paul Ried Financial Group--