Tips for Mobile Security

Smartphones and mobile devices are convenient and easy to use, but pose a potential security threat for the same reasons. Here are some best practices for securing your device.
  1. Secure your mobile device with a password and set it to lock automatically.
    A strong passcode is the best protection, but four-digit and six-digit PIN codes also work. Always set your device to automatically lock on the shortest feasible setting. A passcode can’t do its job if your phone is always unlocked.
  2. Install security software on your device.
    Just like computers, smartphones need security software to protect them.
  3. Don’t save passcodes in your device.
    It may be tempting to keep track of passwords on your mobile phone, but this can quickly put you at risk if your phone is compromised. Instead, take advantage of services such as LastPass. This tool remembers your passwords for all of your visited websites in a secure and encrypted environment. You only need to have one secure, master password. Sign up for free with your email and a strong master password.
  4. Turn off your device’s automatic Wi-Fi connection.
    An automatic connection may blindly link you to unencrypted access points, compromising the security of your information. Only connect to secure Wi-Fi networks and disable Wi-Fi when not in use.
  5. Encrypt your mobile device.
    This will make sure that your information is safe even if a thief makes it past your passcode.
  6. Only download apps from approved sources.
    Read user reviews of apps before downloading to scan for security concerns, or download from strict sources like Apple’s App Store, the Google Play Store or the Amazon App Store for Android.
  7. Be aware of what permissions your apps have.
    Many apps will require more than default permissions to properly function, but apps do not need unlimited access to your device and data. Be wary of apps that ask for unusual permissions for their function. Keep track of what apps have access to your device.
  8. Practice safe communication.
    Do not blindly click on links sent by email or text message. Your phone is just as much at risk as your computer. Do not respond to texts from unknown sources—this can let hackers know they have found a target.
  9. Promptly install updates.
    Operating system updates often contain patches for vulnerabilities in the system, so it is important to install them in a timely manner. Be sure to also install updates for apps.
  10. Switch off Bluetooth and near field communication (NFC) when not in use.
    Leaving these on may give hackers access to your device and data. Set your device to undiscoverable to be invisible to unauthenticated devices.
  11. Do not jailbreak or root your device.
    This removes the manufacturer’s malware protection and may make you especially vulnerable to hackers.
  12. Utilize two-factor authentication.

    Every time you go to an ATM and enter your PIN number or when you are prompted to answer your security code on your account, you are using two factor authentication. Simply, this adds an extra layer of protection that helps keep you safe.

    Did you know you can use two factor authentication with your WMApps (Gmail) account? Found out more here.

  13. Download Find My iPhone.

    The Find my iPhone application can prevent someone from compromising your personal information if your iPhone/iPad is lost or stolen. You will be able to see the location of your device on a map, which will allow you to easily locate your device. You can also use the Lost Mode feature which will lock your screen and/or sound an alarm.  It also lets you to erase your device remotely. This will delete all personal information so that you can stay protected.

Treat your mobile device with as much care as a computer to maintain a safe mobile environment.