The newest phones allow us to do everything on the go: plan a meal, send a Tweet, even make personal financial transactions. It’s truly a ‘mobile’ lifestyle, and most of us are grateful for it.
But each time we use our mobile phones, we expose ourselves to mobile security risks—inadvertedly giving away our credit card details or online banking password. Here are some important things to remember the next time you use your phone.
Pick your apps wisely
Everyone’s making mobile apps, and some are better than others. Bad privacy standards or even careless code can endanger your mobile security. Since it’s hard for us to know the difference between a good app and a bad app, play it safe. Only get applications from trustworthy sites such as iTunes, Android Market, Amazon. Carefully read user reviews and get only those that have good ratings. Beware, too, of fake user reviews or self-promoting blogs or websites that give stellar scores to apps they have made themselves (under a different name, of course).
Set a phone password
It takes half a minute to set a password, and it’s time well spent. In case your phone gets lost or stolen, the password prevents other people from reading your mail or text messages, or browsing through your voice mail and videos.
Beware of suspicious links
Studies show that people are far more likely to click suspicious links when they are surfing from their phone. Maybe it’s the smaller screen, which makes it harder to tell if a site is legit or not. And, when we’re on our phones, we tend to be more relaxed or distracted (maybe surfing while we’re waiting in line, or killing time before a meeting). It becomes twice or even thrice more likely that we’ll impulsively click on a link in an email or social networking site, or providing personal information on ‘sign up’ forms.
Be careful when you use an unsecured WiFi hotspot
Most of us take advantage of free public WiFi, like at coffee shops or even our gym. Won’t hurt if we’re checking out a favorite blog, but be careful about inputting any password or credit card details. Someone else can see that information, or get the data as the hotspot transmits it. This goes for using your laptop in public areas, too. Read our article on how to strengthen a remote computer’s security.
Watch out for spyware
If you don’t have a password, or have somehow leaked the password to someone else, another person can place spyware into your phone and begin monitoring your texts, location, and banking activity. In fact it’s better to arm your phone with an app that will block any viruses or malware.
Photo from blisstree.com