Did you get everything on your Christmas list? If so, there is a good chance that your list included at least one mobile device, either a smart phone or tablet. For most of you, the worst part of finding a new gadget under the tree is waiting for it charge before you were able to take it out and play. But have you considered how your new device opens you to possible identity theft?
Do not throw the new phone or tablet in the kitchen drawer and revive your old flip phone just yet. If you follow these ten simple steps, you can greatly reduce your chances of being a victim yourself.
- Keep the device close at hand – the first, and easiest, security measure is to always keep you phone or tablet on your person. Never leave it unattended and you will instantly make it more difficult for thieves to access your information by simply looking.
- Use the built in security features – if your device has built in security features such as fingerprint ID or security codes, use them. These features are for more than simple show and tell, and you have wasted your money, and risking even more, if you do not utilize them.
- Lock it – every mobile device offers a locking feature that allows you to select from a predetermined rest period after which the device locks and additional access requires user to sign in. This is a very important feature and a must for personal security. Sooner or later you will leave the phone on your desk, in a purse or even a NYC cab and if it’s not locked it is an open book to anyone who cares to look.
- Learn about your device – not all devices are created equal and that means that some are more secure than others. Know what your device is capable of and what areas are at risk; then use it accordingly.
- Use multiple passwords – never use the same password for multiple accounts. Yes, it makes it easier to remember but it also means if one is hacked everything is vulnerable.
- Uniqueness counts – when it comes to passwords being different is important. Not only do you want different passwords for different sites, but also when it comes time to change passwords for a particular site. While “password01” is a terrible password changing it to “password02” when forced to is even worse.
- Never store information – the keyword for internet users is convenience and making it easier and easier for users. Many companies will offer you the opportunity to save personal data to their site for future use. NEVER do this. If you do, not only do you need to worry about your own security but that of the website as well.
- Don’t use public access – after a few months on the go you may find that one of the potential hidden costs of mobile devices is what happens when you exceed your data limits. This makes the idea of public (insert FREE) wi-fi very attractive. But be wary. Sometimes public wi-fi can mean that your information is also public, or at least more accessible to potential hackers.
- Do not get bitten by Bluetooth – Bluetooth is a feature more and more users are taking advantage of. Not only is it necessary for hands-free use, but also very useful for wireless printing, sharing of documents ect. However, it is also a potential door to your device’s hidden information. It is recommended this feature be turned off when not in use.
- Revert to a clean slate – you’ve done everything you can to protect yourself while using your new device but suddenly find it is gone. Maybe it was stolen or simply lost – it happens. The question is “Now what?” Well, if you activated the “find my phone” feature when you first set up your profile then it may be as simple as remotely deleting all stored information. If you do not have this feature, or failed to set it up ahead of time, you can call your provider and see if they have this capability.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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