Five basic mobile device security tips

Protecting yourself from cyber crimes requires a basic understanding of the risks.

  1. Auto-lock your phone. They’re small, we carry them everywhere, and unfortunately, mobile phones are lost or stolen all too often. If your phone falls into the wrong hands, a password is the first line of defense for your personal data. To keep your information private, create a strong password for your phone and set your screen to auto-lock within five minutes.
  2. Keep your apps and device software up to date. Hackers work diligently to discover new vulnerabilities in our apps or the software that operates our phones. Device manufacturers and app developers frequently update their software to fix newly exploited security gaps, but if you don’t download and install these updates your information is still at risk.
  3. Use discretion when downloading apps. One of the most exciting things about getting a new smartphone is downloading all the great apps that are available. Unfortunately, even the most innocent-looking app can contain software designed to steal personal data, make fraudulent charges or even hijack your phone. Only download apps from sites you trust, check the app’s rating and read reviews to make sure they’re widely used and respected before you download.
  4. Stick to window-shopping on public Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi networks have become ubiquitous, but security for these networks is scarce. Be careful what you do on public WiFi networks as there may be others watching network traffic. In particular stay away from making purchases and banking transactions—any communication that conveys a password, account number or credit card number—unless you are certain that you are on a secure connection.
  5. Safely dispose of old devices. Backup all the information on your used device and then factory reset it before safely disposing of it.

October is Cyber Security Awareness month, and ICT will be sharing helpful IT security information and hosting themed events to help increase the awareness of cybersecurity throughout the month. For event information, visit the IT security website.

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