Securing Mobile Devices:

As we live more of our lives through our smart devices, many of us don’t consider the implication of securing the information that we carry around on our small computing devices.  Bank account access, credit card numbers and pictures of our families are all information that someone can try to take while we’re not being vigilant.  But if you approach your mobile device with the same level of care as you do your home or work computer, there’s little need to be afraid for the safety of your information.  The few steps below are a good starting point to securing your digital life

 

1.        Phone Updates – Let’s face it, we’ve all mashed the “update later” button on our devices so many times that it’s practically a reflex.  But when we forget to come back later and apply these updates, we are only hurting ourselves!  Whether you’re running an iPhone or a Windows tablet, making sure you keep your device up to date is one of the simplest ways that you can be up-to-date with the most recent security and feature updates that you need to stay safe

2.       Not all apps are created equal – You’re standing in line at the DMV, waiting for the person ahead of you to fish out that last pocket full of change and considering learning Latin while you wait.  So you open your App Store and see “Latinmate - Learn Latin While You Wait!”  So you excitedly download the app and enter your password.  After downloading, it asks you for access to your contacts and phone storage.  Ready to begin impressing your friends you hastily hit “Allow” on the prompts for Contact, Storage, and Camera access.  As you get into the actual app you realize it’s nothing more than a few pictures and a Google translate box.  “Oh well” you think, and shuffle off to the corner.  Unfortunately, Latinmate has already gotten what it wants and will continue to sit there gathering information on you as you go about your day.  Spending a few minutes to think about why an app might need access to your info can save you some frustration later!

3.       Securing your device – Luckily, a lot of phones are starting to use fingerprints to allow you to safely and securely get into your device.  But many are still using four digit pin numbers or simple passwords.  Is your PIN “1234”?  That same easy to remember code means that the next time you leave your phone at a restaurant, someone could easily gain access to all of your information

4.       Find my device – “It’s late, do you know where your device is?”  No matter if you’re on Android or iOS, there’s a nifty feature that will let you remotely locate your device on a map, and factory reset it if needed.  If you’re not sure if your device is secured this way, you can click here (http://www.apple.com/icloud/find-my-iphone.html) for more information if you use an Apple device, or here (https://myaccount.google.com/intro/find-your-phone) if you are using Android.  Now is the time to make sure these features are on and working, not when you’re in a panic because you can’t find your phone or tablet!

 

These four steps will help set you on the path of making sure your device is secured.  While not comprehensive, if you can remember to stay security focused with your device, it will prevent you a lot of worry in the future!  If you have any additional questions, one of our friendly iTologists will be glad to discuss your mobile device security strategy with you!  Give us a call!

Cory Carson