With the ever-increasing use of computers and mobile devices and the widespread proliferation of computer networks, there are countless opportunities for cybercriminals to do their dirty work. These people are not easy to pin down. More often than not, they’re working in a clandestine manner. They can be anywhere and can strike at any time. And they’ve usually very, very smart.
For those of us who lead companies that combat this kind of activity, it’s a constant challenge to develop tools and measures that successfully protect your data. Now that we’ve turned a corner into a new year, I’d like to share with you five tips for keeping your smartphone secure.
Use a screen lock.
We live with our mobile devices and count on them to help us connect with people, stay on top of things, run our businesses, and do all sorts of personal tasks. Because of this, we want them to always stay in tip-top shape. That said, you might be surprised by how many people don’t use a screen lock to secure their phones. Whether your phone’s lock can be opened by a difficult-to-guess password or your unique thumbprint, it’s worth it to take this extra measure to keep out those who might pick it up and attempt to access your data when you’re not paying attention.
Install security software.
Smartphones are susceptible to cyber attacks, and it’s expected that this activity will increase in the months ahead. The last thing you want is to open your mail or a social media app and learn that someone, possibly even halfway around the world from you, has stolen your identity or accessed your information. Security software can help prevent this. Download it, install it and activate it today. You’ll be glad you did.
Back up data on a regular basis.
Have you ever had files that were on your smartphone one minute and somehow gone the next? I think everyone has lost photos or other items at one time or another. This won’t be a problem if you take an extra few minutes to back up your data on a regular basis. The good news is that it’s become easier to do this. Often, this can be accomplished by simply connecting your phone to your computer and transferring files. Now, you can also save your phone photos to a small external drive that plugs into your phone. It’s fast and easy, and worth the effort.
Don’t click on suspicious-looking texts.
It’s become routine to provide our cell phone number to companies with which we interact regularly or do business. Text messaging has become the new e-mail, and texts are often used today as part of security verification for some online transactions. That said, don’t automatically trust every text message you receive, especially if it contains a link. If you’re not 100 percent sure that a message you receive is from someone you know, be safe and don’t click. Delete instead.
Update your operating system and apps regularly.
If you haven’t been doing this, you may be surprised one day to click open your updates folder and see dozens of apps that have available updates. It’s smart to update your apps as often as the providers let you know that they’re available. In many cases, the updates contain updated security features that you’ll want to have on your phone.
Have a great new year and stay secure!