People use their mobile devices for everything: sending emails, taking pictures and even banking; however, just like any other system, mobile devices are susceptible to malware or identity theft. In fact, a mobile device is lost or stolen every 3.5 seconds. While most users have all of their personal accounts synced to their phone, all your sensitive information can go right into the hands of cyber criminals. Use these three methods in order to keep your mobile devices secure.
1. Use security settings.
While most desktop users will log out of ecommerce, banking or personal sites after their use, mobile device users are constantly synced and logged-in—thanks to mobile applications. Having a keypad or swipe code password, however inconvenient, may be the last barrier between your personal information and an identity thief. Additionally, setting an idle timeout will automatically lock your device when not in use, safeguarding your information.
2. Use mobile security apps.
Whether you are using an android or iOS platform, your mobile device can be hacked. There are several apps for both platforms dedicated to securing your device, but one worth looking at is Lookout. This free app can be used for both platforms and is fairly customizable for your use. The features include:
- Blocking malicious websites
- Scanning every downloaded app for malware or viruses
- Locating, locking, backing up and remote wiping accessibility
- Viewing which apps access your private info
3. Review and update your privacy settings.
In 2012, 80% of all apps developed were capable of integrating with social networking services, creating an opportunity for your personal information to be intercepted. Without reviewing and setting up proper privacy and security settings, apps can pull your personal data and share with other network users without your knowledge. Apps like Facebook and Twitter ask permission to share on your behalf, but before you know it, you could have a dozen or more applications with varying levels of access to your accounts. We recommend routinely deleting apps you no longer use, disallowing any unnecessary permissions and maximizing your security settings.
While the security risks to mobile devices are very real, it’s not quite time to revert back to analog. Mobile devices have made it easier to have real-time access and control over your personal accounts (e.g. banking, ecommerce and social media), but at the same time have introduced new opportunities for cyber hackers to strike. Your mobile device automatically comes with numerous ways to secure and protect itself and your personal information. Make sure you apply these security settings and carefully review what apps you download and how they access your personal information. In the end, mobile device users have the power to control just how much personal information is shared; however, it’s up to you to police it.
How do you secure your mobile device?