Our cellphones are one of the only items that are with us basically all the time. We use our phones to shop, take pictures, store payment information, navigate and keep a schedule. We also sometimes use them to make phone calls! Our lives are intertwined with these mobile devices. This means that much of our personal information is also stored within. Since you are entrusting your phone with such valuable information, you must learn how to protect your mobile data. If your mobile device were to get hacked or stolen, you could be set to lose a lot more than just a phone.
Tips For How To Protect Your Mobile Data
- Always use a lock screen with added protection. Your phone should be set up to lock when inactive for a short period. In order to unlock the phone, you should set up a PIN or require Face ID or fingerprint recognition.
- Enable encryption. If an app has a setting to allow encryption, you should turn it on. This will allow any information you send through the internet to be locked with a “key”. In other words, your information will be unreadable for anyone who steals the information before it arrives where you intended it to go.
- Use passwords on apps that hold sensitive information. For instance, the app that you use to check your banking accounts should be set up to require a password to view. If possible, set up two-factor authentication which will provide you with an added level of protection.
- Keep your software up to date. Have you ever wondered why your phone or apps always seem to have new updates? The main reason is to ensure that they are up-to-date in safeguarding against the newest security threats. If you don’t update your software, you could leave yourself open to identity theft.
- Never send personal information while using public WiFi. WiFi at home is great because everything is wireless and convenient. However, you know that only your family uses your WiFi, so you know it’s safe. Public WiFi doesn’t give you that same amount of privacy. When you send info through public WiFi, there is a brief period of time where that info travels through a shared space. In this time, a thief could steal your information. If you need to send something important, wait until you’re on a secure network.
- Use a security app. You would be wise to install a security app that offers anti-virus and anti-malware protection.
- Disable ad tracking. Whether you use iOS (Apple) or Android, you can go into your device settings and disable ad tracking. This will keep websites from storing your search history for advertising purposes.
- Be careful which apps you allow access to your location. Your phone’s camera, Bluetooth and microphone can be used to track your location as well. Put some thought in to whether an app is worthy of tracking your location.
- Back up, back up, back up! You can back up your device to the cloud continuously or you can back up to your home computer. If your phone is stolen, hacked or if your phone has an issue you will be able to restore everything from a back up.
- Set up a device finder. An app such as Find My iPhone will allow you to track your device if it is lost or stolen. You also will be able to remotely wipe any information from the device so that no one else can access it. If you use this feature, be aware that all of the info is destroyed and cannot be undone (this is why it’s important to have back ups!).
Your phone is a gateway to a ton of your most important information. Use these tips on how to protect your mobile data and your information will be in a much safer position.