With the continued rise in smartphone adoption, you need to consider security issues. Smartphones are like mini computers. They have the ability to store data that can be accessed by email, a cloud-based web application, or some form of internal or external memory storage.
Smartphones are valuable and you need to consider what would happen if your mobile device fell into the wrong hands. Here are five tips on how you can protect your smartphone
Tip 1: Use password protection
It’s easy to set up password protection on your phone. Most likely it is in your phone’s security settings. If you can’t find the option, check online or in your phone’s manual to see how to enable it. Most people password protect their computer, but don’t feel the need for a mobile device; however, this is the first safety step you should take.
Tip 2: Wipe phone data remotely
Once you have secured your mobile phone with a password or passcode, you may still want to further protect the data stored on your phone with remote wipe. Remote wipe will erase your phone data and restore all factory settings. This is not something you would want to do unless you are certain that you have lost your phone.
To set up remote wipe if you have an iPhone, you’ll need to sign up for a paid account with MobileMe. Then you need to set your phone to enable wipe in case you need it. Android 2.2 phones have remote wipe built in, but you’ll also need Exchange. Since remote wipe with Exchange can only be done by an Exchange administrator, a better option would be to use the Mobile Defense app. It is a free application from the Android Marketplace that will allow you to perform the wipe from the Mobile Defense website.
If your phones use Windows Phones 7, they can be remotely wiped using Outlook Web Access.
Tip 3: Do not store sensitive data
If you use your phone to access your online banking or log in to all your favorite sites, don’t set your smartphone to automatically remember passwords. In case your phone is lost or picked up by someone else, your account is easily accessible.
Many people have their home and address stored on their phone. This information could be used fraudulently if your phone is lost or stolen. However, by using a password or remote wipe tools, as described above, you can prevent your data from being leaked.
Tip 4: watch what you click
Smartphones, like computers, can be affected by malware, computer viruses, and phishing scams. If you receive a suspicious email or SMS, don’t click on any links like you would on your computer. Phishing scams can be used to steal your passwords and important information, and are often very cleverly disguised as being from your bank.
Tip 5: Be careful what you install
If you download or install a new app, make sure it’s from a trusted source. The benefit of smartphones is that there are thousands of apps and games available to extend their functionality. Please only use the official app stores, otherwise you may find some malicious code injected into your app which will transmit a virus to your phone.