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Following the recent hacking of Carphone Warehouse, a breach which compromised the personal data and bank details of around 2.4 million customers, online security has become something of a talking point. However, most of us pay more attention to the safety of our desktop or laptop, with little consideration for our phone, save a 4 digit pass code. Despite this, most of us now have just as much, if not more, sensitive data on our mobiles, which is why we really would recommend taking the following advice.
Update your password regularly and choose wisely
Given that an estimated 25% of smartphone users have had their phone lost or stolen, it really does make sense to add a PIN to unlock your phone. And more importantly, it should be unique to other PINs such as your bank PIN. It’s also worth changing this frequently too, especially when you consider how often, and in front of how many people you use it, whether it’s at work, in a café, or on the train. Better still, some phones like the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5 have a fingerprint sensor for locking your phone.
Install anti-virus software
Unfortunately, viruses are not confined to laptops and desktops, although they aren’t as prevalent across smartphones. Nevertheless, the threat is still there (more so among android than iPhones), so it makes sense to consider mobile anti-virus software- McAfee, AVG and Lookout are available through both the iOS App store and the Google Play store.
Don’t allow automatic connections
You may not be aware, but some smartphones are set up to automatically connect with available Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices. Ultimately, this makes your device more vulnerable, therefore it makes sense to either disable this option, or put your device into “not discoverable mode” when you don’t need it. As well as making your device more secure, this also helps to reduce your power consumption.
Consider a SIM lock
As well as an overall lock for your phone, it could be worth considering setting up a SIM lock. Also known as SIM pin or SIM Security, it’s a popular choice for those tied into an uncapped contract and works by requiring you to input your password before making a call or sending a message. It can be frustrating, but ideal for those who are after extra peace of mind.
Clear your phone before passing it on
If you’re one of the lucky ones who moves onto a new phone out of choice, rather than necessity as a result of breaking it or dropping it down the toilet, and you’re planning on donating it to charity, reselling or lending it to someone else, then it’s really important to remember to wipe any data stored. Remove and erase any media cards and make a point of conducting a full reset in the Settings menu.
Guest contribution by;
loveit coverit is an insurance brand dedicated to protecting your favourite gadgets, protecting your phone, tablet and wearable tech against accidental damage, mechanical breakdown, theft, loss and liquid damage.