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7 Security Tips for Mobile Devices

Written by: Sara Coulter |

Have you ever had a dream where you lose your phone? Well, you could be without it if you don't take basic precautions. Check out these 7 security tips to keep your device safe.

Americans love their smart phones, and the security of our mobile devices is more important than ever.  Take a look at these statistics:

  • 77% of Americans own a smart phone.
  • 68% of those smart phone owners check their phone within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning (and 79 more times throughout the day).
  • Americans spend an average of five hours per day on a mobile device.
  • 78% of consumers made a purchase on their mobile device in 2016.

Here are seven easy action items that you can take right now.

1.  Be careful when downloading apps.

Stick to well-known app stores, like iTunes, Google Play or Amazon.  And by all means, take advantage of your bank’s mobile banking app.  Just check out where you should go to download it.

 

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2.  Don’t click on suspicious links.

Can you believe that people are three times more likely to click on a suspicious link on their phone than on a desktop?  Just don’t, especially if it asks you for personal information.

3.  Always update your operating system and apps.

It may seem like an inconvenience when you see that little icon pop up signaling an update, but updates often include fixes and patches to security features.  You can also set up your phone to automatically update apps in the background.

4.  Use a password or pass code on your device.

According to a Consumer Reports survey, 64% of us don’t use our pass codes.  Setting up a pass code that times out to a lock screen is a simple security setting within your smart phone.  Once it’s set up, if your phone is lost or stolen, or if someone picks up your phone and tries to use it, they will be locked out without the code.

 

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5.  Back up data on your smartphone or tablet.

Most devices have a setting feature that will back up your device automatically every so often.  Consider backing up to a cloud service, so you can get to the back-up whenever and wherever you need it. Make sure to back up at least once a day for the best results, or consider using automatic syncing with your cloud program.

6.  "Remote Wipe".

Have the ability to remotely remove data from your device if it is lost or stolen. A “remote wipe” protects data in case your device is lost or stolen. And if you have a back-up stored somewhere, the information can be downloaded to your replacement device.  Depending on your device, this may be a setting, or you may download a third-party app.

7.  Avoid open Wi-Fi Networks.

Since smartphones are now acting like mini PCs, avoid public open Wi-Fi networks when logging into protected sites or sharing personal information.   Since an open network is not secured, malicious hotspots can transmit your credit card information and passwords without you even knowing it.  So when you’re logging into an account that requires a password, like your mobile or online banking, make sure you are somewhere with a secured Wi-Fi network.

All of the above can be done cost-free from the comfort of your living room.  So take a few minutes to ensure that you and your devices stay safe!

 

 

Topics: Security, Business, Investments, Personal

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