An illustration of a key on a smartphone's screen

You can do almost anything with your fancy new smartphone and tablet. Including having your data stolen.

Yep. Today’s iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and Windows Phones are so powerful and advanced that owning one is like having a mini PC in your pocket. Unfortunately, that means they carry the same kinds of security vulnerabilities as computers too.

Phones and tablets are also small enough to steal easily. And you often connect them to the internet via public 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi networks. So you can see why it’s worth taking steps to stay safe on mobile devices.

Here are the tips you need to know.

Set a passcode

Your mobile device has all your private conversations, contacts, and much more stored on it. If someone steals it – or even if someone you know wants to snoop – they can see all that stuff easily. Unless you lock it, that is.

Set your device to require a secret passcode every time you start using it. Every device has these settings, and they could save your private data from a thief or spy.

Many phones will let you unlock your phone with your thumbprint or your face. This can be convenient, but may also carry additional security vulnerabilities, and it allows law enforcement to force you to unlock your phone.

Encrypt your internet data

Public Wi-Fi networks are notoriously easy to eavesdrop on. Not all mobile internet providers can be trusted.

Use a VPN service to encrypt your mobile Internet data and keep it safe from third parties.

Be careful about which apps can access your data

One of the great things about mobile is all the apps you can download. Almost anyone can make an app and put it on the store – but what does that tell you about the quality and security of some of those apps?

Android, in particular, is known for letting internet-connected apps run in the background, which might then access and upload data such as your locations and photos. Besides the security risks, they’re wasting your monthly data allowance!

Use reputable apps and review their permissions regularly to make sure they only have access to the data that you expect them to have.

Protect against malware

Malicious software that targets mobile devices to steal your data is on the rise. Mobile malware often comes disguised as clones of popular and trusted apps. It might then steal account credentials, install other apps without permission, or perform some other unwanted action.

Be careful about which apps you install and who has access to your phone. If you’re in doubt, perform a factory reset to get your phone’s operating system back to its original state.

Don’t leave Bluetooth on

Any additional feature can be a potential security flaw, especially if it allows remote connections to your phone. Only turn on bluetooth when you need to.
It helps save battery power too!

Don’t root your device

Rooting or jailbreaking your phone removes default security features which may allow apps to access private data such as your SIM card details and which antennas you connect to.

5 thoughts on “Mobile safety tips you need to know

  1. How to prevent a neighbor frm interrupting/listening in on phone convers. & making weird noises? Plz help!!

    1. Hi ZZ Briq,
      I assume this is on a wireless home phone (not a mobile phone)?
      It’s possible they were able to pair their phone with your base station, in which case you have to unpair it. In the settings of your base station you should get a list of all connected phones. Remove them all and then reconnect only the phones that you have in your house. Sadly every phone and base station is different, so this is difficult to describe.
      Lexie

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