We’re in the third decade of the 21st century, and advances in modern technology have shaped the way we live our lives. Most notably, the devices we carry with us — including smartphones and tablets — play a role in how we communicate with others and handle our everyday business. However, having access to the world in the palm of our hand comes with responsibility, and a device with free access to 5G and WiFi can lead to security concerns if you aren’t cautious.
If you’re a smartphone user who’s interested in adding a boost of security to your device, try a few of these helpful tips:
Turn on auto-lock on your phone and set a password.
This is one of the best ways to ensure your smartphone is protected from people with bad intentions. You can set your device to automatically lock after a certain short time frame, and all smartphones have a password feature. Make sure your password is difficult to guess — avoid using birthdays, anniversaries, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. You can also set up fingerprint or facial recognition for even more security.
Use public WiFi with care.
If you use public WiFi services to save on data or to just get a better connection, take caution — these networks are unsecured for public use, and hackers have been known to take advantage of the weaker security that comes with these networks. If you’re using a public WiFi network, steer clear of using any banking apps, as well as apps and websites that have your credit/debit card information saved. If you absolutely have to use these apps when out and about, use your phone’s data plan.
Opt in for two-factor authentication.
Many websites either require or give you the option to set up two-factor authentication; this feature is designed to keep your accounts extra safe, so when you log in, you have the option to receive a text, phone call, or email to prove you’re the right person. This feature is especially recommended for mobile banking apps as well as any app that stores your banking information.
Keep your phone’s operating system and apps up to date.
When software updates are rolled out, don’t ignore them — these updates often come with security upgrades that go a long way in keeping your device and personal information safe. Keep an eye on app updates as well, especially for apps that require significant security. Additionally, if there are apps on your phone that you haven’t used in a long time, consider deleting them — by doing so, you’re removing an additional point of contact for hackers and scammers.