With technology getting faster and more accessible by the minute, smartphones are devices that are used worldwide. From banking and browsing the internet to watching our favourite shows, our smartphones connect us to the world.
But the same technology can make us a target for viruses and cyber-attacks if not secured properly. So how do we protect our mobile phones when we spend so much time online?
To help you navigate your device in a safe and secure manner, we have compiled a list of 8 safety tips for your mobile phone:
1. Lock your phone
If your device gets stolen or ends up in wrong hands, your complete personal information is at risk of being accessed. To prevent this, always lock your phone when not in use. This can be done as a pattern, passcode, Touch ID or facial recognition.
2. Create a strong password
Setting up a strong password makes it harder for hackers to guess them. In addition, if a password attempt fails a certain number of times, the phone will be disabled or sometimes even erases all data. Set different passwords for each app. This way, if one password is discovered, the hacker will not have access to all of your other information.
3. Beware of downloads
Always download a specific app or a file from the official app store and make sure to read reviews before doing so. Cybercriminals sometimes create rogue or “spoof” mobile apps to trick people into revealing their personal information. Beware and check the reviews, updates and contact information of the organisation.
4. Beware of charging stations
Avoid public charging stations unless you absolutely need to charge your phone. Cybercriminals sometimes set up fake charging stations to access your data or install malware once you plug your device in. This is called “Juice Jacking” and poses a real threat if you aren’t aware of this.
5. Connect only to secure wifi
We’re always looking for free WiFi. But WiFi networks may not be as secure as you think. Always use caution while connecting to public WiFi networks. A network may seem trustworthy but can be a “spoof” network set up to access and monitor your activity. To stay safe while using public WiFi, use a VPN. Changing your location will help keep you safe online.
6. Don’t root or jailbreak your phone
Jailbreaking or rooting your phone is the process of unlocking your phone entirely and removing many of the safeguards that the manufacturers have put in place. It may be tempting to root or jailbreak your phone to access a variety of apps, but remember that this puts you at high risk because these unofficial apps can easily hack into your phone.
7. Be wary of text message and email
Smartphones are equally susceptible to viruses as computers. Text messages and email links are easy targets for mobile malware, so do not send any confidential financial information by text or click any links you’re not sure of.
8. Update your device
Updating your Operating System when prompted is essential to keeping the bad guys at bay. Mobile phone operating system updates are meant to improve your experience. This can entail anything from performance and features to security. So the next time you get a prompt, hit “Update now” instead of hitting “Remind me later”. This way, you’re staying up to date and safeguarding your device and information.
Want to know how to stay safe while working from home? Here are some top cybersecurity tips from our Head of IT!