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5 Ways to Increase your Mobile Security

We live in a day and age where phones are considered an everyday essential. In fact, 4 out of 5 (around 37 million) adults in the UK own a smartphone. Amid handy apps and convenient features, there’s also the underlying threats and risks to your security, especially if you are a business user. Keeping your everyday files (be it online or offline) safe is one thing, but how about your mobile security?

So many of us take our devices for granted. They’re so incredibly easy to use that we often forget about the copious amounts of sensitive, and even private information that they have stored. Just because your phone is always in your hand – it doesn’t mean that it’s safe from malicious threats or security breaches.

In fact, mobile phones can often be more at risk than your average desktop computer or laptop. This may be because they’re a bigger target, being such a popular necessity. Or even because they’re an easier target as we’re more likely to overlook mobile security than anything else. Though we may not think it, mobile phones are vulnerable to a number of threats including being physically stolen or hacked.

With so many softwares and apps claiming to solve all of your safety issues; it can be hard to know who to trust. So, instead of asking: ‘who do I trust?’, how about asking ‘what can I do?’

Here’s our top 5 tips on how to increase your mobile security. Because let’s face it, if we can’t do without our mobiles – we want to at least make sure they’re safe to use!

How to increase your mobile security

1. Password protect it

You should think it goes without saying, but actually around 43% of people don’t use a password to protect their mobile phone. This means that if someone does unfortunately steal your phone, then it’s game over. If your stolen device stores your personal and private details, is linked to your online accounts or even does your banking for you then you may just be in big trouble.

Believe it or not, once somebody gets hold of your mobile it’ll be incredibly easy for them to infiltrate it and take hold of your private information. Meanwhile, you could fall victim to identity fraud or worse.

There’s no reason not to password protect your phone. Most smartphones nowadays will offer a choice between numerical, worded or even interactive passwords (through face recognition or fingerprints). So, there’s no excuse as to why you shouldn’t have one. Ultimately, if your phone does unfortunately get stolen then a password is much more likely to stop the thief in their tracks. Being inaccessible makes the device practically worthless.

If you’re a culprit of your password being AWOL then waste no time in setting one up today. Struggling for password inspiration? Head over to our blog for Box-it North West’s top password tips.

…And keep your password on the down-low

It’s all well and good password protecting your mobile phone, but when you then go and display your password for all the world to see; it loses its purpose.

We’re all guilty of storing our passwords somewhere or other in fear that we’ll forget them and be locked out of our devices. Common storage places include digitally on your phone, on a piece of paper in your phone case, in your purse and even around the home.

Though it truly is a ‘doh!’ moment when you forget your password. You must always remember that there are ways and means in which you can reset it, so ensure that all of your details on your mobile are up to date just in case this happens. The alternative of writing down your password and then getting your phone stolen alongside the password takes you right back to square one. You may as well not even have it in the first place!

Be smart and be vigilant with your mobile security and never write down your passwords or tell them to anybody.

2. Lock your SIM card

It’s always a good idea to password protect your mobile, but how about your SIM card too? A password will protect everything that is stored on your phone. SIM cards, however, are easily removable and can store a whole range of private details. More often than not they’ll contain the names and numbers of your family and friends.

You can easily protect your SIM card with a PIN to prevent fraudulent infiltration. More often than not you can do this via your settings or when you first install your SIM card.

You’ll be prompted to enter your SIM card PIN every time you turn on our mobile in order to access the network, so not only does this keep identity thieves at bay. It also means that if your phone is stolen, it’ll be of very little use to a thief.

3. Monitor your app permissions

It can be easy to download a new app and grant it all permissions without a second thought. Especially if you’ve not got the time to read through 16 pages of T&C’s. Clicking ‘OK to all’ however, could be extremely dangerous and damaging to your mobile security. Back in 2015 Apple had to remove 100s of apps from the iTunes App Store that were secretly collecting information that users had in fact unbeknown to them, agreed access to.

So, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re reading this gulping, thinking about how many times you’ve pressed that ‘grant all permissions’ button without a second thought then fear not. You can normally go in to your settings and monitor your permission settings. Be mindful of unrecognised apps and what they can access. Only share your photos, location, social media and personal details with apps in which you place the utmost trust.

Remember to pay close attention to whom you grant your permissions to. Make sure the requests to access various features are just and reasonable. For example, a calculator app would not need your location, but a map app would.

4. Remote Erase your device

Conveniently, if your phone does end up getting lost or stolen and you have no way of getting it back you can still erase the information stored on it remotely. Both Apple and Android have online processes for tracking, locking and remotely erasing a device’s information, so it’s worth setting up these features in case it happens to you.

Apple: log into your iCloud account and select Find My iPhone. You must already have it enabled on your device for this feature to work.

Android: log into Android Device Manager and track the device, remote erase or lock.

5. Protect your paper documents

Maintaining your mobile security would be nothing without ensuring that the paper documentation that came with it is secure too.

When you purchase a new phone, what comes with it is a load of paperwork containing all of your details. This will include personal details and information about your new handset. It is paramount that you securely store these files as if they end up in the wrong hands you run the risk of falling victim to identity fraud. Not only this, but if your phone is stolen alongside the documents then an individual is likely to be able to gain full access to the mobile – password protected or not. What could follow is someone having access to all of your private details and files that are stored on your phone.

Ensure that your mobile phone paperwork is securely stored. And, when it’s time for you to upgrade your handset you’ll also want to make sure that any old documents are shredded to make certain that your private details do not fall into the wrong hands.

We hope this article helps you improve your mobile security, and boosts your online and offline safety needs. When it comes to safeguarding your physical and digital records, Box-it North West are the experts who can help your business with its document management, from paper shredding to online cloud storage.

 

Get in touch with us today to find out what we can do for you.

Posted on: August 6th, 2018