Whether you make financial transactions on your phone, scroll through photos on your tablet, or check email on your smartwatch, you probably spend a huge amount of time every day on your mobile device. While you probably know how to keep your computer secure, protecting your phone and tablet requires a different approach. Follow these six steps to help keep your mobile device secure.
1. SET UP A PASSCODE.
The easiest way for someone to access the information on your phone is to simply snatch it. When you’re in public, keep an eye on your device at all times to reduce the chance that an opportunistic thief will grab your unattended phone or tablet. To further protect your device, set up a passcode, PIN, or fingerprint lock. If you lose your device, having some sort of Touch ID feature will act as a deterrent and further protect your sensitive data.
2. SCRUTINIZE YOUR APPS.
3. BE WARY OF WI-FI.
Wi-Fi offers cybercriminals a potential pathway into your mobile device. To stay safe, avoid connecting your device to public or unsecured (not requiring a password) Wi-Fi. If you must use public Wi-Fi, take an extra moment to scrutinize the available networks and connect to a legitimate one. And never conduct financial transactions or access sensitive data while you’re on public Wi-Fi.
4. KEEP A REMOTE BACKUP OF YOUR DATA.
Whether you lose your phone, drop your tablet in the bathtub, or are the victim of theft, it’s vital to have a reliable backup of all the data on your device. Back up your information to your computer and/or to a cloud-based service. Depending on your device and manufacturer, you may be able to remotely wipe all of its data if your device gets into the wrong hands. Having a backup gives you peace of mind and helps to keep your information safe.
5. UPDATE YOUR OPERATING SYSTEM.
Your phone and tablet use an operating system to function, and this important software requires periodic updates. Get in the habit of checking for available software updates and installing them as soon as possible. These updates can address security flaws, improve the user experience, and protect the information on your device.
6. LOG OUT OF YOUR ACCOUNTS.
Staying logged in to social media apps on your device is convenient – you can see your friends’ latest photos and posts in an instant. But if someone gets access to your device, even for a minute, he or she can see the information displayed in any open apps and even impersonate you. To keep your device safe, always log out of apps when you’re done using them.
Even if you’re careful, hackers and identity thieves may try to access your data and may succeed. Discover will help you to protect your identity by monitoring thousands of risky websites and alert you if they find your social security number. And it’s free for cardmembers who sign up. It won’t solve identity theft issues, but it’s a good first step to putting you in the know. Terms apply. Learn more at Discover.