Have you ever looked around and not been able to find your smartphone? The feeling of panic that overtakes us is not a good feeling.
If you are like most Americans your smartphone has quickly become an important tool in your everyday living. And with more than 100 smartphones stolen every minute in this country, smartphone security is of prime importance.
Here are our tips for keeping your smartphone safe:
- Register your phone with a tracking app. Use apps like Find My iPhone or Where’s My Droid to help find your phone.
- Use passwords. Passwords can prevent your phone from being used when it is stolen, misplaced or left unattended. There are two types of passwords you’ll need. A screen lock is a password that is necessary to use your phone. You’ll also need a SIM card lock in the form of a PIN number. This SIM password is required to access a network, and prevents thieves from simply removing your SIM card and using it on another phone.
- Guard your data. Even though your phone may have password protection, thieves can retrieve your data by connecting your phone to computers or removing a microSD card. Use free software to encrypt files and folders. This means a code must be entered before a file can be viewed or copied.
- Be careful with wireless networks. Anything that sends data via the airwaves is a security concern and smartphones are no exception. Always switch off the wireless connection when you are not using it. This makes sure people can’t connect to your device without you knowing about it. Make sure your phone is not configured to automatically find a network (make it a manual process and control access through your “settings” features).
- Watch the mobile apps. Only download mobile apps from established parties through known sources. Pay attention to the information mobile apps want to access and know that if a mobile app can easily access it, so can thieves.
- Bluetooth. Bluetooth is less risky due to its short range for access. Set the default Bluetooth configuration to “non-discoverable.” That means bad guys searching for potential targets won’t see you pop up on their lists. Any unknown requests to “pair” or connect your device should be ignored.
Follow these tips and you’ll have taken prudent steps to keep your smartphone and its information safe and secure.