We all know the dangers of not protecting our home computers and laptops, but many of us overlook the one most important device. That’s right, your cell phone. While most people have their PCs protected, some estimates claim as many as 40 percent of users don’t have anti-virus or anti-spyware protection for their mobile phones or devices. Here are some safety tips to protect you while you’re on the go:
FIND OUT IF YOUR PHONE HAS ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Information-stealing applications can invade your phone, stealing details from your address book and your phone number. Spyware capable of taking over the components of your device can be remotely controlled and monitored no matter where your device goes. To avoid these nasty invaders, make sure your device has anti-virus software and avoid clicking on unknown web links or opening texts masquerading as a system update. That’s not to say you shouldn’t update software for your operating system and browser when you get a valid notification. These updates often contain security patches necessary to maintain the integrity of your device.
PASSCODE PROTECT YOUR MOBILE DEVICE
Always use the passcode feature to access your phone or tablet. This is the first layer of security to protect its contents. Enable the screen lock feature after a few minutes of inactivity for another layer of protection.
WATCH OUT FOR WI-FI
When you connect to an unknown network you are connecting to another computer. Your device will then also be set up to broadcast free public Wi-Fi, possibly allowing access to all your private data to anyone within range who is also connected. Hackers visit spots like coffee shops, airports and hotels that offer free public Wi-Fi to gain access to users’ devices, stealing contact information and any other personal or financial information they can get their hands on. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take advantage of free Wi-Fi. But make sure before you do so your phone or tablet has updated software to help protect your activity.
INSTALL WITH CAUTION AT THE APP STORE
Before you install an app, take a look at the reviews, not only of the app, but of the publisher/developer of the app. Remember, not all apps are safe. And be sure to understand the permissions you are giving when you download any app.
CLEAR THE CONTENTS
If your phone is ever lost or stolen, make sure you have software to clear its contents remotely, like Android Lost, a program that enables you to find your phone and/or wipe it clean remotely if it is ever lost or stolen. If you are selling or trading in your mobile device, make sure to clear the contents and restore settings to factory default for a clean slate.
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