6 smartphone security best practice tips

Brilliant but vulnerable


For any one that is mobile during the course of their working day smartphones are truly brilliant devices. However, small handheld devices are as vulnerable to poor user practice as a laptop or desktop computer. They are also easy to lose or be relieved of… here are 6 tips for safer smartphone use.

1.   Device security

Always use the built in passcode feature so that the phone has to be unlocked to use it. Make sure it autolocks after a short time. Don’t leave your smartphone on a table in a cafe or a bar or on display anywhere else in public where you may become distracted and or wander away from, even for a short time.

2.   Email security

Use the same best practice for mobile email as you do on laptops and desktops. Don’t open emails from unknown senders and don’t click on links in emails (even if you know the sender) unless there is a clear understanding of what the link is to or you are expecting the sender to forward a link.

3.   Don’t be app-happy

Be careful when downloading apps. Make sure you read reviews in the app stores before installing. Apps for which there are no ratings or comments should be researched. Avoid being an early-adopter or an early victim of an app with hidden threats. Understand the Ts &Cs of an app. Do you want an app to access your location or message data?

4.   Beware of public Wi-Fi

Absolutely do not use unsecured Wi-Fi in public places for mobile banking. Better than this do not use such infrastructure for any web transactions where your personal data is sent. The use of hot-spots, no matter how ‘free’ they purport to be, may come at more of a price than you are prepared to pay.

5.   Don’t jailbreak your phone

Jailbreaking is tempting especially if you are a bit of a geek or have connected with the counter-culture after a festival summer. Jailbreaking opens the SSH port which means there is the potential for the phone to be hacked and data down or uploaded. Don’t install unauthorised third-party apps as these may contain malware.

6.   Use VPNs to connect to home or office

If you connect to you home or office networks use Virtual Private Networks, VPNs. Most would use VPNs to connect laptop or desktop computers. Extend the same best practice when accessing data on your home and business networks.

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