Mobile devices have now become a part of our daily routine. At one point in time, they were used strictly for phone calls, but now cell phones have evolved into computers in our pockets. So many of us keep a vast amount of personal and professional information on them, such as email addresses, credit card information, and even important company data. Thoughtful passwords can often help keep this information safe, but is that enough? Here are some mobile cyber security tips for keeping connected devices secure.
1. Check Your Privacy Settings
Smartphones can often come preset with privacy and security settings, but give you the option to modify the settings for better mobile device security. One can find these options in the settings app on your phone. These settings can help you limit the access outside networks have to data on your phone. For example, it can help protect your location, pictures, contacts, notes, and emails from your applications and connected Bluetooth or WiFi. This is one of the cyber security tips we often forget about because we are so used to allowing application access to our personal information, in order to properly use these apps.
2. Sign Out of Automatically Logged in Accounts
Smartphones have heightened the accessibility to the internet, which means that we tend to use our cellphones as a secondary or for some, a primary connection online. This means for many of us, especially those of us who travel for work, are using our smartphones for business. Connecting not only our personal accounts but also our work accounts brings a new sense of convenience to the average employee. However, this can be problematic for those trying to keep personal and company information secure.
While it might be difficult to log in and out of accounts already on your phone, it will be more secure in the long run. If someone hacks or finds out your passcode, at least they won’t have direct access to your applications and accounts. For some mobile devices, it might be trickier to log in and out of your accounts on the applications, but in this case, you might want to consider using the browser instead. Even though it might not be as convenient, you’ll be happier knowing your accounts are safe.
3. Turn off Bluetooth and WiFi When Not in Use
Bluetooth and WiFi have changed the world of hands-free technology over the years. Having the ability to connect a device to the car or walk into a building and automatically connect to its WiFi, has changed the way we use our devices for the better. However, leaving your personal or work devices available for connection with other devices can leave your data vulnerable. While it’s easy to leave your WiFi and Bluetooth settings on for convenience, it leaves your devices open for cybercriminals to misuse and possibly accesses everything on your device.
To keep things as safe as possible, remember to turn off your Bluetooth and WiFi when you’re not connecting. Some devices make it easy with a simple switch of a button. Many phones also have the option to have additional security levels to these features as well. Something as simple as a password to be able to connect to a Bluetooth or WiFi system could save you a lot of trouble when it comes to security.
4. Download a VPN
Virtual private networks (VPN) can be cyber safety lifesavers. VPNs allow for privacy online by creating a private network from a public internet connection. By masking your internet protocol (IP) address, your online actions are untraceable. If you are connecting to a public WiFi, your device will be undetectable to anyone else on the network. So many cybercriminals are aware of how many unprotected personal and professional devices are connected to public WiFi networks and take advantage of them.
VPN’s are available for not only laptops and tablets, but also mobile devices as well. VPNs have the ability to hide your IP address, your location, your web activity, but most importantly your device in general. For those who use a smartphone for work, it would be a good idea to invest in this network going forward.
Harmful cybercriminals are on the lookout for those who are relaxed with their security. Not investing the time to research and implement cyber security processes could be the difference between a data breach and a safe network. So, taking the time to understand your security options is very important. These are a few cyber security tips and precautions you can easily take that will bring your mobile device security to the next level.