Secure Your Smartphone [8 Tips]

posted 6/19/2015 in General

Americans are relying more and more on smartphones, and that’s not just our opinion, but supported with facts. According to a 2015 study by eMarketer, over half of the United States population will be using a smart phone by the end of this year. That’s millions of people making calls, sending texts, making purchases and taking selfies every day.

It also presents a pool of potential victims for criminals. In addition to the amazing technology incorporated into each smartphone is tons of data: your contacts, passwords and even financial information. But before you have a panic attack and throw your smartphone in a trash compactor, try these tips to secure your smartphone.

Smartphone Security Checklist

  1. Set PINs and Passwords- take advantage of your security setting that allows you to set up a passcode. You should also enable any settings that lock your phone after a certain period of idle time.

  2. Don’t compromise your phone’s security settings- tampering with security settings or “jailbreaking” your phone can undo the security systems that are built in.

  3. Backup and secure all data- whether it’s to your computer, the cloud or an external hard drive, be sure to backup all of your data in the event you lose your phone or it is stolen.

  4. Research apps before you download them- read reviews and confirm that the app is legitimate before downloading. Criminals can create apps that contain malware to steal information, plant viruses and cause harm to your phone.

  5. Understand app permissions- apps may request access to certain data and functions on your phone. Be sure you know full well what each app is doing, and don’t forget to check the privacy settings.

  6. Look for apps that allow wiping and remote location- these allow you to either completely wipe data from your smartphone if it is stolen, or locate your phone if you lost it.

  7. Keep your smartphone’s operating system updated- this ensures security patches are in place to cover any spots that could be vulnerable.

  8. Be smart when on public Wi-Fi- use public Wi-Fi as little as possible. When you do, be wary of doing tasks that require personal information, such as logging in to Mobile Banking or submitting applications.

While these aren’t “fail-safes,” the above items will reduce the chances of your smartphone being compromised. Be sure to watch for warning signs like slow performance, bugs or errors on your phone, as they could signal that your phone has been compromised.  If this is the case, be sure to contact your wireless provider as soon as possible.

Lincoln Savings Bank, Member FDIC

Blog and News