SUMMARY: Learn how to protect your mobile device and yourself.
If you’ve ever lost your mobile device, you know the feeling. That sick-to-your-stomach feeling that your device and the data it contains could be compromised, putting you at risk for identity theft. But, you don’t have to physically lose your device for its security to be compromised. From unsecured networks to easy-to-guess passwords, there are many ways your data can fall into the wrong hands.
The good news is, there are ways to ensure your data isn’t accessible to any would-be thieves – whether you lose your device or it’s exactly where it should be. Here are our tips for keeping your mobile device safe:
- Start with a strong password. While almost any password is better than no password, avoid the temptation to use anything that can be easily guessed. You know, like "password." Instead, use a combination of letters and numbers that make sense to you but no one else.
- Add layers of security. When possible, take advantage of additional layers of security, called multi-factor authentication. With this enabled, apps require an additional step to verify your identity before you log in.
- Be careful in public networks. Remember, your favorite coffee shop may be a great place to hang out and get work done, but the network it lets you use is unsecured, which means thieves can easily hack your connection to steal your data. Avoid connecting to unsecured networks and never do so to make financial transactions when you do use them
- Incoming! Any time you receive a call, text, or email, treat it with caution, even if it appears to be from someone you know or a company you do business with. Scammers are skilled at creating messages that mimic others or seem harmless and often catch victims in their traps. Clicking on email or text links, filling out forms or surveys, or believing callers can result in devastating fraud losses.
- Take care with downloads. Just as not all files are trustworthy, neither are all apps. Only download files and apps you know to be reputable and only download them from a reputable source or app store.
- Clean up and update your device. Apps and files you no longer use or need can expose you to risk, as can out-of-date operating systems and other software. Uninstall old apps, delete old files and be sure to keep your device updated.
Want more security tips? Learn more ways to stay safe at our Security and Online Fraud Center.