It is really important that your smartphone is secure for many reasons. You may keep data on it and if your phone was lost or stolen, this would be lost. Or perhaps your personal information may be illegitimately accessed from internet pages you have visited or from the smartphone itself. Here are some tips for smartphone security to keep you safe.
Use a screen lock
Many new phones offer a pattern lock which is a personalised shape or pattern that is drawn on the screen to grant access. However, ensure that the screen is cleaned regularly. If your phone is stolen or lost any finger traces can sometimes be seen and accessed on the screen. Alternatively, a PIN code offers an alternative and can also save time. Make your password difficult to crack but memorable for you.
Use a SIM card lock
A screen lock is helpful but won’t stop someone removing the SIM card from your phone and using it on another phone. To prevent this from happening, set up a SIM card lock in the form of a PIN number that will need to be entered when a phone is turned on in order to connect to a network.
Protect sensitive data
While PIN entry and password locks are helpful, a smartphone is effectively a small computer with often easily removable storage. It’s far too easy to retrieve data by simply plugging it into a computer or removing a microSD card. It’s important to protect sensitive data saved to internal storage. Software is available that can encrypt files or folders so that code must be entered before a file can be viewed, accessed or copied.
Any device that can send data across the airwaves is a concern for security. Always switch off your wireless connection when it’s not in use. It ensures that people can’t connect to a device without your knowledge. It’s also worth checking your phone’s network security settings as it might be configured to automatically connect to a network when in range without you knowing.
Protect bluetooth use
Bluetooth isn’t generally seen as a risk as it has a relative short range. However, hackers have been known to remotely access a phone if they are in range. Ensure that bluetooth is turned off when not in use. Set the bluetooth configuration to ‘non-discoverable’, so that people searching for nearby devices can’t see yours. Any unknown requests that pop up through a bluetooth connection, such as an offer to ‘pair with a device’ should be ignored or declined.
Be careful when accessing a web browser on your smartphone as it can be easy to accept messages that pop up. For example agreeing to save user details and passwords might make it easy to remember for later, but unfortunately, others can do the same if they gain access to your phone. If any security warning pops up when looking at a website, take note of it and leave the website if needed. Also, ensure any banking or shopping sites where you put in secure information have a padlock in the address bar to ensure that the site is encrypted.