Mobile devices have become one of the primary ways we communicate and interact with each other. The power of a computer is now at our fingertips, allowing us to bank, shop, view medical history, attend to work remotely, and communicate virtually anywhere. With all these convenient features come added risks, but here are some tips to protect your devices and your personal information.
- Password-Protect Your Devices. A mobile device is much more likely to be lost since you carry it around with you. Make sure you enable a PIN (6 digits is more secure than 4) and/or enable a fingerprint scan, if it is available. iPhone settings shown below.
- Backup Your Data and Settings! Whether you backup to the cloud or to your computer through a physical connection, make sure you have backups turned on! If you phone is lost or damaged, you can transfer your data and settings from the backup to your new phone. iPhone settings shown below.
- Enable Remote Find and Erase. Using the iPhone as an example, you can enable “Find My iPhone”, which allows you to locate, lock, or erase your iPhone in case you lose it. The same functionality is available with Android devices.
- Purchase Apps from Reliable Sources. Don’t forget to review app specifications and privacy permissions before installing it! In general, the safest place to purchase apps is on the Apple App Store or the Google Play App store as these apps have been vetted.
- Update Operating Systems. Just like your computer, it is really important to keep your phone’s operating system up to date with security fixes or patches. On an iPhone, just go into the Settings and then General and then Software Update to see if your system is up to date.
- Be Cautious of Public Wi-Fi Hot Spots. Avoid financial or other sensitive transactions while connected to public Wi-Fi hot spots. If you need to be connected to a public Wi-Fi network, you should connect to Brewster’s VPN connection on your phone to ensure you are browsing securely – see instructions for iPhone or Android.
Note: If you are not connected to Brewster’s VPN, using your carrier’s cell network IS much, much more secure than open Wi-Fi networks!