5 Ways to Protect Your Smartphone

A few years ago, back when you only used your phone for phone calls and text messages, you really didn’t need to worry about security issues. Now with the mainstreaming use of smartphones, security is more important now than ever. Whether is just as simple as someone picking up your phone and sifting through your important personal information or a more serious issue, like a virus ruining your entire operating system. Think about all of the information on your phone that you wouldn’t want others to get a hold of: contacts, emails, scheduling, online banking information, stored password, and perhaps precious photos. Below are 5 simple tips to help you protect yourself against security threats:

Don’t Lose It!
The first thing you can do to protect yourself from security issues is not to lose your phone. That sounds pretty simple, but it happens more than you think. People are 15 times more likely to lose their phone than their PC. (Check out this fun info graphic on how and where people loose there phones the most.) It’s more than just the hassle of going to the phone store to buy a new phone; it’s the fact that whoever finds the lost phone may have access to all of your information.

Use a Screen Lock Password
If you haven’t done this already, set up your screen to lock automatically after a certain amount of time. Use a strong PIN, password, or pattern. This way, incase you are one of the many people who lose their phone, the person finding the phone won’t be able to login and see your personal information. You can also add a phone tracking app, so you can log in online from a different device to see where the phone is located. These programs also allow you to disable the phone completely, avoiding any unauthorized use.

Choose Apps Wisely and Don’t Give Them Permissions
Only download apps from trustworthy app stores. Read other people’s reviews of the app. Read the app’s privacy policy. Check to see how much of your data the app accesses and if it will share your information with third parties, if there is a privacy policy. If it sounds suspicious, don’t download the app.

Don’t Jailbreak
Jailbreaking/hacking/rooting/tampering/whatever-you-want-to-call-it—with your phone frees it from the limitations created by your carrier. Don’t do it. Not only does it weaken the security of your phone by opening security holes, once you do it, you’re on your own. You may have voided your warranty, so you can’t depend on your carrier to fix any problems you encounter.

Don’t Randomly Click on Links or Attachments
Just like on your PC, same thing for your phone: be cautious of links from untrusted sources. Once you receive an email with a link or an attachment from an unwelcomed source, delete it immediately. It may contain spyware or malware, infecting your phone.

Check out our upcoming seminar on mobility: Communications: Here, There, and Everywhere.
Related articles: BYOD: Bring Your Own Device. Risky?

Born and raised on a horse farm in Marion, IA, Kenyon got her B.A. in English Literature from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. She returned to the area after graduating in 2011, and interned at several different marketing agencies prior to coming on as Marketing Coordinator for Tektivity. In her free time, Kenyon enjoys riding horses, studying ballet, and being with family.

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