Keep your mobile device from becoming a window into your private data if it is ever lost, stolen, or accessed by someone without authorization with these safety tips.
- Lock your smartphone with a strong password.
- Protect your number. Only give out your mobile number to people you know and trust.
- Watch out for fraudulent messages. Just like when using email, avoid giving out personal information via text message or over the phone. Urgent requests to give out personal details such as account numbers or Social Security numbers via your mobile device are often scams.
- Consider protecting your device with security software that allows you to lock and wipe (delete) all the data from your phone remotely if it is ever lost or stolen.
- Disable automatic connections. Some phones connect to WiFi and/or Bluetooth automatically, which may enable them to connect to an unsecure network and transmit data without your knowledge.
- Log out. Especially if you shop, bank, access social media, or use other apps that access personal information on your phone, be sure to log out when you are done. It is all too easy for someone to pick up your mobile device and access your accounts if you remain logged on.
- Avoid conducting financial or private business on your phone, such as banking or accessing work data, when it is connected to a public WiFi hotspot.
Check out a great video providing with many tips for online browsing and securing your devices:
Even if you’ve taken precautions on your desktop or laptop, you may have a device in your pocket that is nearly as powerful and that has just as much (if not more) access to your personal information. Many people don’t realize what a liability their mobile device can be when it comes to criminals being able to access information. Or, if you accidentally lose your phone like Linda did, it could become an easy way for thieves to access your information. For example:
- Many people use smartphones to access personal accounts, shop, and use social media. However, three in 10 smartphones aren’t password protected and 41 percent aren’t enabled for remote tracking and data wiping.
Only 22 percent of survey respondents said they read mobile app privacy statements before downloading apps.
Source: Edelman Berland survey for Experian’s ProtectMyID, 2014