Mobile device security

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Protect your mobile device

5 essential tips to protect your mobile device. Image

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Your mobile device allows you to store a wealth of information and memories. But did you know that a mobile device holds as much personal information as a computer?

Each day, we use our mobile devices in public places, and most apps can be opened without a password. This means that our smartphones and tablets are increasingly popular targets for fraud, and users need to watch out for threats like identity theft and unwanted surveillance.

Adopt these 5 good habits to protect your personal information and the contents of your mobile device.

To keep attackers from taking control of your email, social media accounts, address book, etc.:

  • Activate fingerprint authentication
  • Make sure your device requires a password after 5 minutes of inactivity.
  • Choose a strong passcode:
    • Make sure it has at least 6 numbers.
    • Avoid easily typed or obvious codes like "123456", "258085" (centre line) and "137913" (4 corners of the keypad).
    • Android and iOS also let you activate custom or alphanumeric codes—you might want to use this feature. Ask your mobile service provider for more details. Make sure that you don't store your passwords in a notepad app of any kind.
  • Don't store your passwords on a notepad app.

Just like a computer, you need to update your mobile device. That way your data stays safe and your device still functions correctly.

  • Configure automatic updates for your device and apps.
  • Download a mobile security app. You can find some for free.

Avoid making online purchases, financial transactions and sending confidential information from public Wi-Fi networks Your information might be intercepted.

  • Connect your device to secure networks that require a password.
  • Use your cellular data.

There are a lot of apps in the mobile app stores. Be careful! There are malicious apps out there. Use official stores, like Apple's App Store and Google Play.

Before downloading an app, ask yourself:

  • How many people have downloaded this before me?
  • Can user comments tell me about the app's quality?
  • What authorizations does the app need? When in doubt, go with a different app.

When you lose your mobile device, your personal information is at stake—and you might lose a bunch of data and pictures!

  • You should regularly back your mobile device up, either to your personal computer or the Cloud.
  • Register your device with a remote tracking system.
  • Activate the remote data wipe option for your device, in case it is permanently lost.
  • Before selling your device or getting it repaired, back your mobile device up to a personal computer or the Cloud, then erase its contents. You can transfer your data back over when you've recovered your device.
  • If you have an external memory card/SD card (Android), remove it before selling your device or getting it repaired, and learn how to encrypt your data so that it can't be read without a password.

To change the security settings on your mobile device, check your user manual or contact your mobile service provider.

See the frequently asked questions (FAQ) about mobile security.