As you use your smartphone or tablet to bank and shop online, it’s important to keep your personal information secure.
Here are tips to help you protect your mobile devices:
Enable password protection: A reasonably complex six-digit password will protect your phone from the average criminal if it’s lost or stolen. For convenience, most devices also offer biometric identification such as fingerprint or face ID. Remember to set your phone to lock automatically when you aren’t using it.
Don’t connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots and turn off Bluetooth in public places. Never accept files from an unknown device. Someone else could access your private login details while you’re connected through Wi-Fi. Instead, use your mobile data network, which has built-in security.
Be aware of smishing attacks, which are misleading text messages designed to trick you into clicking on a malicious link or downloading an attachment from a number you don’t know.
Make sure you have remote access: Most smartphones allow users to remotely track a device location, lock the device, erase the data, and retrieve a backup if it’s lost or stolen.
Use discretion when downloading apps: Only download apps from the App Store or Google Play. Even apps that seem innocent can have software designed to steal personal data, make fraudulent charges, or even hijack your phone. Be sure to also manage the apps your children can download on your device.
Keep your device and apps up to date: Update your apps regularly and set your devices to automatically update so they can receive security patches to keep them protected. Consider replacing devices once they no longer receive software updates.
Set up a PIN for account changes: If you haven’t already, call your service provider and set up a PIN that must be entered before making any changes to your phone plan. This adds an extra layer of security and helps make sure only you have access to your account.