8 Tips for Securing Your Mobile Device
Mobile devices have become part of our everyday lives. While using these devices, whether it be a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, you are at risk of being a victim of a cybercrime. Here are some tips you can use to safeguard your devices against impending attacks.
1. Keep your apps up to date
Install app updates as soon as possible and enable automatic updates whenever possible. Most app updates involve security improvements and bug fixes that will keep your device more secure against invaders.
2. Avoid free Wi-Fi networks and untrusted Bluetooth connections
Be wary of unsecure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections as attackers like to lurk on these networks or create bogus networks to entice victims to connect. Make sure your mobile device is not set to automatically connect to wireless/Bluetooth networks to prevent your device from connecting and transmitting your information without your knowledge.
3. Protect your device with a password, passphrase, or biometrics
Don’t make it easy for others to gain access to your devices. If your device doesn’t have biometric capabilities, ensure your device has strong password that only you know. You may also want to download a password manager, which is a useful tool for securely storing passwords for different sites and services.
4. Use VPN software when accessing sensitive information
VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are a secure way to access an organization’s network via your mobile device, keeping your – and your company’s – information safe. VPNs are popular for people who work from remote locations or need to access their network on the fly.
5. Choose your apps carefully
Avoid third party app stores and apps as they often contain malware or attempt to access or transfer your data. Third party app stores have also been found to contain spoofed versions of reputable apps that are actually malware in disguise. Furthermore, carefully review and configure app permissions and privacy settings for all apps that you use.
6. Surf the web safely
Look for HTTPS/SSL connections when visiting sites for email, mobile banking, ecommerce, and similar uses. Prior to entering any sensitive or personal information, verify that your connection is secure and read the URL carefully to make sure that you’re on the correct site and not a spoofed page. In addition, keep an eye out for phishing attempts and popups that ask for any kind of personal information.
7. Use encryption and antivirus software
Enable device or data encryption wherever possible and run regular encrypted backups of mobile data to avoid permanent loss. Install and enable a reputable mobile antivirus application to help protect against mobile malware.
8. Have a plan for if your device is lost or stolen
Install a “find your device” app that uses your device’s GPS capabilities to locate the device if it is lost or stolen. Set your device to lock after a certain number of failed access attempts and enable remote lock/wipe as a last resort to prevent unauthorized access or data theft.