Mobile devices have become one of the primary ways we communicate and interact with each other. The power of a computer is now at our fingertips, allowing us to bank, shop, view medical history, attend to work remotely, and communicate virtually anywhere. With all these convenient features come added risks.
Here are some tips to protect your devices and your personal information:
- Password-protect your devices. Give yourself more time to protect your data and remote wipe your device if it's lost or stolen by enabling passwords, PINs, fingerprint scans, or other forms of authentication.
- Secure those devices and backup data! Make sure that you can remotely lock or wipe each mobile device. That also means backing up data on each device in case you need to use the remote wipe function.
- Verify app permissions. Don't forget to review app specifications and privacy permissions before installing it!
- Update operating systems. Security fixes or patches for mobile devices' operating systems are often included in these updates.
- Be cautious of public Wi-Fi hot spots. Avoid financial or other sensitive transactions while connected to public Wi-Fi hot spots.
- Make it difficult for criminals. In a thief’s mind, easy access = easy pickings. So when you’re in public, keep your device out of sight when you’re not using it. You also want to avoid unsafe hiding places, such as your back pocket or handbag. When you’re using your device, keep a tight grip: hold it with both hands, spacing your fingers out or weaving them together.
- Set a unique ringtone on your phone. Criminals have been known to set off a popular default ringtone, then watch people pull their phones out to check if it’s their phone ringing. They then know where people are keeping their phones, which makes it easier to pickpocket them.
- Get the hardware details. Nobody likes paperwork, but police reports need a lot of detail. So, make a note of your device's serial number and model number. Also note its MAC address and computer name. In the case of mobile phones, also take down your phone’s IMEI number. This info can also be useful for tracking purposes.