From phone numbers to financial information, our mobile devices probably know more about our lives than some of our closest friends. We compiled a few tips that can help make your data safer from attacks and hackers when you’re shopping or banking on the go. And if you break, lose or have your phone stolen, we threw in some other mobile safety solutions to help you protect your valuable information.
1. Update your software
An ever-changing digital world means that mobile makers are constantly updating software so your device runs smoothly and stays protected from advanced hackers. System updates can be a hassle with a busy schedule, but you’ll thank yourself in the long run.
2. Back it up
Losing, breaking or having your smartphone stolen means you’ve also lost valued pictures, paid apps and most importantly, your significant other’s phone number. Regularly backing up your device to a computer, through your carrier, a personal account or an app means no more panic attacks in the event that you part ways with your phone.
3. Secure your stuff
It’s tempting to nix the password because it can sometimes be a hassle. Try to remind yourself that protecting your phone is like protecting your head with a helmet—always use one to reduce the risk of permanent damage. Four-digit passwords are a good start, but if possible, use password patterns, like drawing lines that connect a series of dots, for stronger protection.
4. A little app help
Before you get the next dating-for-city-singles app, remember that you should only download from trusted marketplaces and vendors. Here are three types of apps to help secure and protect your personal info.
- Antivirus- Just like a computer, antivirus apps are a good idea for protecting your devices. Norton Security antivirus and Antivirus Security by AVG Mobile are both free, top-rated virus protection apps for Android.
- Phone locator-Before you go out for a night on the town, consider downloading a phone locator app just in case you happen to misplace it. Phone Locator Pro by RVO and Find My Phone by Family Safety Production for Android offer many features to help you track down your device.
- Remote wipe- Once you’ve come to terms with your device’s disappearance, it’s a good idea to remotely wipe it to prevent anyone from getting their paws on your personal stuff. Android Lost by Theis Borg and BlackBerry Protect by Research in Motion Limited offer ways to both backup your crucial information and have it wiped remotely.
5. Something’s Phishy
Did you know phishing scams are more powerful on mobile devices? Clicking on unknown links can lead to scams or possibly bad apps that will automatically download on your device. Rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t click on something using your PC, also think twice about it on your mobile device.
What’s the first thing you would do if your phone is lost, stolen or broken?
a. Locate your phone with an app
b. Wipe your phone's data
c. Call your service provider
d. Run out and buy a new phone
e. Freak out