Monday, August 10, 2015

Mobile Security Basics 101 - Some easy tips to securing your devices

Mobile phones are everywhere and everyone has one; you, your friend, your mom and perhaps even your grandma.  Most people are not too concerned with security of their own personal devices but that trend is changing very dramatically with the recent security breaches and awareness of what data your phone has and what hackers can get.  Let's go over just a few very basic but good places to start to securing your own devices (phones and tablets).

Enable a PIN or Passcode on your device:

This is the easiest and a great first step in securing devices.  Android and iOS/iPhones have several methods of securing your device including:

  • Fingerprint/Biometric
  • Voice
  • Facial
  • PIN or passcode
  • Bluetooth unlock device

A passcode or pin helps keep personal data secure, prevents children or others from accessing data.  You can also set options to have your device wipe itself if the passcode or pattern is inputted incorrectly a set amount of times.  I recommend setting this to after 10 failed attempts.

Enable Find My iPhone or Android Device Manager:

These two features are both free on Android and iOS.  Once enabled, you can do the following if you lost your phone:

  • Allows you to track phone in real time
  • Allows you to remotely wipe devices
  • Allows you to remotely lock devices
  • Allows you to have phone make a noise

And finally, Mobile Apps and some general tips:

  • Be sure to download apps from the App store and not web links. Malware can be masked/installed from links.
  • Be wary of apps that require access to data; Android shows permissions required when you install any app.
  • If you are not sure if an App is legit, do a Google search on it!
  • Keep your apps and OS updated!
  • Be careful when using public Wi-Fi or free internet; man in the middle and honeypot networks exist to try to steal data
  • If you are using a pattern password; be sure the pattern isn’t smudged on the screen
  • Do not use birthdate or commonly known numbers for pin if possible
  • Backup your phone data regularly using iCloud backup or iTunes. Google Photos allows unlimited backups for free, iCloud photo backup allows up to 5GB for free.