Our phones and are not just phones anymore. That ‘phone’ that you use to stay in touch with people is actually a little computer, not even a little computer anymore. It’s your best friend, your knowledge, your business.
(let’s call it a ‘mobile communication device’) containing valuable information about you, your family, your friends, and your life. What if your mobile device or tablet is attacked by a virus or your personal details stolen via a hack? Because many daily activities were previously done on your PC, the information on your mobile device is now as critical and confidential as data on your laptop or desktop. It’s time to start thinking about protection beyond the PC.
Smartphones and tablets have overtaken computers in popularity because of the way they enable you to live your life without interruption, rather than around your desk at home or in the office. With mobile internet, email, social networking and cloud storage, you can carry out most of the tasks that you can on a computer but in a café, out shopping, in the park, working away from the office or anywhere around or outside the house.
However, this high level of convenience is accompanied by higher levels of risk. Because mobile devices are so compact and portable, they are easier to lose or steal, leading to potential breaches to your personal and financial security or, at best, inconvenience. And because of where you can use your device, the risks from using it online can also be greater than those from using your home or office-based computer.
Always remember that your device is not ‘just a phone’, but think of it as a computer, but needing different security rules.
Losing your mobile device
Like anything else, it’s certainly possible that your phone could get lost or stolen. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
- Lock it – Always lock your phone when not using it and don’t give anyone the password.
- Hide it – If you can’t take your phone with you, don’t leave it in your vehicle where anyone can see it. This could be an open invitation for stealing. Lock it in your trunk or glove compartment. Better yet, take it with you!
- Don’t advertise your home address – Today’s smart phones often include GPS technology, and if you use this feature it’s quite possible that you have your home address as a “favorite” or frequent destination. It would be wiser to include your home address under a made-up name, so that if your phone is stolen, the culprit wouldn’t have immediate knowledge of where you live.
- Notify ASAP – If you phone is lost or stolen, contact your phone provider right away in order to prevent anyone else from using your phone. Depending on your provider, you might be held responsible for unauthorized usage if you do not notify the provider within a certain timeframe.
- Old phone awareness – If you decide to get a new phone, don’t forget to delete your personal information from your old phone first. Most mobile devices have a ‘reset to factory settings’ option, and you should use that before recycling or storing it away. Also, be sure to remove or wipe clean any inserted memory card as well.
- Secure it – The best thing you can do for the physical safety of your mobile device is to use software that provides an array of features that are specifically designed to thwart unauthorized use of your phone.
Phones are not immune to ‘phishing’ attacks
As stated earlier, your mobile device is literally a computer. And just like your desktop or laptop at home and at work, smartphones are susceptible to threats, viruses, and attacks.
You should already know that when using the Internet on your mobile device, don’t click on any unknown links. STAY SAFE.
You can easily click on a fraudulent link that can take you to a website designed to fool you into revealing personal information that can be used to steal your money, your identity, or both.
Without slowing your mobile device down or adding anything complicated to the mix of programs you may already have on your device, these are great at reporting and removing these damaging attacks.
Protect your Tablet too!
You’ll need to protect your tablet and the data on it also from loss, theft, viruses, and other threats. Antivirus and antimalware protection is available on app stores which scans all files that enter the device. and lets you check out the safety of applications and files that are already on the tablet.
Just like your mobile device, your tablet requires the same web protection, threat protection, and anti-phishing protection.
We carry our mobile devices and tablets virtually everywhere we go. If you lose these machines, it can cost you time, money, inconvenience, embarrassment, and worse. Be sure to keep these devices protected as you would any other computer. In fact, all your family devices, used by kids and spouses, should maintain the same level of protection. Be sure to teach your kids that smart and sensible Internet habits are not only applicable to desktops and laptops, but also to their phone and tablet devices as well.