What would happen if you lost your phone? I don’t just mean the burden of getting a replacement and tracking down all of your friends’ phone numbers. What about the personal information that your smartphone contains? This could include your email account, online banking accounts, your addresses, personal photos, social media networks, and more. Today’s smartphones use apps that open up your accounts with one click. From there, anyone can view your information and make transactions and changes to your accounts.
Nowadays, it’s not just physical theft that puts your information in danger. Hackers are finding ways to attack mobile devices on public WiFi networks, making everyone more vulnerable. So, what can you do to protect your smartphone and your personal data?
- Use a passcode lock or screen lock. While sophisticated thieves can work around them, this is your front-line defense against anyone accessing your phone. All mobile phones offer some form of passcode protection, whether it’s a series of numbers or swiping gestures on the screen. Just like any password, you should create one that’s hard to guess.
- Don’t save your password for apps. It can be tempting to leave your apps “open” so that you can access them quickly, but this can be dangerous if someone else picks up your phone. In particular, any apps that access your bank or credit account information should always be password protected. Don’t sacrifice security for quick access.
- Install anti-theft software. There are apps and software available to help you track down and and protect your phone if it is ever lost or stolen. Be sure to install it now, before you actually need it. Here are some options.
Extra security can mean less convenience when it comes to accessing your apps and information on your smartphone. Having to log in and out takes more time, but the benefits of being safe outweigh the convenience of instant access.