8 Tips for Securing Your Mobile Device

Mobile devices have become part of our everyday lives. While using these devices, whether it be a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, you are at risk of being a victim of a cybercrime. Here are some tips you can use to safeguard your devices against impending attacks.

1. Keep your apps up to date

Install app updates as soon as possible and enable automatic updates whenever possible. Most app updates involve security improvements and bug fixes that will keep your device more secure against invaders.

1. Keep your apps up to date

Install app updates as soon as possible and enable automatic updates whenever possible. Most app updates involve security improvements and bug fixes that will keep your device more secure against invaders.

2. Avoid free Wi-Fi networks and untrusted Bluetooth connections

Be wary of unsecure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections as attackers like to lurk on these networks or create bogus networks to entice victims to connect. Make sure your mobile device is not set to automatically connect to wireless/Bluetooth networks to prevent your device from connecting and transmitting your information without your knowledge.


3. Protect your device with a password, passphrase, or biometrics

Don’t make it easy for others to gain access to your devices. If your device doesn’t have biometric capabilities, ensure your device has strong password that only you know. You may also want to download a password manager, which is a useful tool for securely storing passwords for different sites and services.

4. Use VPN software when accessing sensitive information

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are a secure way to access an organization’s network via your mobile device, keeping your – and your company’s – information safe. VPNs are popular for people who work from remote locations or need to access their network on the fly.

5. Choose your apps carefully

Avoid third party app stores and apps as they often contain malware or attempt to access or transfer your data. Third party app stores have also been found to contain spoofed versions of reputable apps that are actually malware in disguise. Furthermore, carefully review and configure app permissions and privacy settings for all apps that you use.

6. Surf the web safely

Look for HTTPS/SSL connections when visiting sites for email, mobile banking, ecommerce, and similar uses. Prior to entering any sensitive or personal information, verify that your connection is secure and read the URL carefully to make sure that you’re on the correct site and not a spoofed page. In addition, keep an eye out for phishing attempts and popups that ask for any kind of personal information.

7. Use encryption and antivirus software

Enable device or data encryption wherever possible and run regular encrypted backups of mobile data to avoid permanent loss. Install and enable a reputable mobile antivirus application to help protect against mobile malware.

8. Have a plan for if your device is lost or stolen

Install a “find your device” app that uses your device’s GPS capabilities to locate the device if it is lost or stolen. Set your device to lock after a certain number of failed access attempts and enable remote lock/wipe as a last resort to prevent unauthorized access or data theft.

Brandon Vasciannie

Steven Blackburn (not verified) | June 26, 2015 9:22 am

You forgot to mention SIM PIN security.

Most thefts of devices, especially for travellers, are to allow thieves to use up your allowances for voice and data or make calls to dodgy revenue share numbers from which they benefit at the victims expense.

Having a device password or biometric key won't stop a thief from causing you financial harm. Most devices are simply factory reset anyway and sold on for not a lot of money; the real money is in unsecured SIM cards and whilst they may only be able to use them for a few days, there are horror stories of people getting stuck with 5 figure bills when they get home.

In the UK the carriers are getting together to limit this type of financial damage, but with a little more diligence (and a SIM PIN) the problem simply goes away.

Maybe it should be required that all SIM's automatically have a SIM PIN to ensure fraudulent use of SIMs is eradicated, and if the user opts to disable the feature then they remain liable for the losses?

Please post your comments here

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