Cyber Hygiene Tip #3 Manage Your Mobile Security
Your smartphone phone is your personal computer. Most of us use our phones for calling, texting, emailing, searching, reading, social media, pictures, banking, traveling and shopping. Your phone has everything about you that cyber criminals want: passwords, usernames, account numbers, photos, and personal information. It also has lots of information about your friends and family. Your phone is also the last line of defense when your accounts get hacked and you need to reset passwords or use multi-factor authentication.
Here are some tips to help protect yourself by protecting your smartphone.
- Update your Operating System (OS). Those pesky messages about system updates are really important. Updates protect your phone from known viruses and vulnerabilities that allow hackers to gain access to your phone or apps.
- If you can’t update your OS, it is time to buy a new phone. Running an outdated version of your phone's operating system is an extreme risk. Hackers are looking for these opportunities.
- Only install apps from Google Play or Apple app store. Both Google and Apple monitor and scan apps. Never use an app that is not available from these official stores.
- Use a lock screen. If someone gets your phone, they can access all of your accounts and information. Use a PIN, passcode, fingerprint or facial scans to secure your information.
- Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth until you need them. When these wireless capabilities are always on they often try to discover other devices and networks. When your device is visible, it can be hacked. If you have unlimited data, consider using only your carriers data and not Wi-Fi
- Beware of Public Wi-Fi. If you must use public Wi-Fi avoid accessing your sensitive accounts such as credit cards or banking or use a VPN to encrypt your data and prevent hackers from intercepting it.
- Beware of Vishing (Voice phishing). Criminals are increasingly using voice calls either by robots or humans to phish. They use the same social engineering techniques to trick you into providing information. Call back a vendor or use their website instead of providing information to a caller.
- Beware Smishing (SMS phishing). Criminals are increasingly using text messaging (SMS) to launch phishing attacks. They often try to impersonate wireless carriers such AT&T and Verizon. Beware of requests for account information that come via text. Go directly to the web site instead or call any company trying to contact you via text.
- Be careful about giving out your mobile phone number and don’t post it online. The more places your number appears the greater the chance that you can be hacked.