Easy ways to keep mobile security intact

Jul 11, 2012 16:11:18Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Easy ways to keep mobile security intact

In the digital age, personal security is all about protecting yourself against scammers and identity thieves. These criminals have been quick to take advantage of those who do not set up proper cell phone security tools, and awareness is key to stopping them. Here are some useful tips for keeping personal information safe.

1. Know your phone's information. Once you get your new smartphone, it is important to write down the make, model, serial/IMEI number and any other descriptors of the device. Put this information in a safe place, as it may come in handy if a phone is stolen or lost.

2. Set up a PIN or security code. This should be one of the first things you do when you get a cell phone. The code provides an extra barrier between your personal information and a thief.

3. Mark the device with an ultraviolet marker. Put this mark, which can only be seen under a UV light, on the cell phone and its battery to help identify your device, TechChunks.com reports.

4. Clear texts and calendar events when possible. If you don't need to keep the information on your phone, then don't. Text messages and calendar events can give a criminal a great deal of information about you.

5. Do not keep passwords on the device. You should never use your phone to store passwords or other important numbers. This includes bank account numbers, email passwords and other sensitive information.

6. Delete browser history. Set up a device to erase browser history regularly or manually delete the data. The websites you view may reveal private information.

7. Do not keep too much information about friends and family. Do not include birth dates, email addresses or other personal data on a device.

8. Beware of eavesdropping. When in public, try to avoid private conversations, according to ScamBusters.org. Do not reveal personal information that a criminal could use when you're on the bus walking down the street or in a public place like a coffee shop or a library.

9. Hide your phone when it's when not in use. Crooks have been known to break into cars when a device is visible. They may also try to snatch up a phone from an open purse or tabletop while you are turned away.

10. Do not click on links. If you get a text message saying you won an iPad or money that includes a link, it is most likely a scam - ignore it.

11. Use remote lock capability option. This option is available on certain phones and allows the user to lock their device even if it isn't physically on them.

12. Encrypt information. If you need information on your cell phone for a long period of time, you may want to encrypt it. This could stop a thief from gaining access to sensitive personal or work data.

13. Avoid subscriber fraud. Do not dispose of detrimental information, as criminals can use it to open a new cell phone account while racking up a bill in your name.

14. Stay away from ringtone cell phone scams. Ads and offers claiming to give subscribers free ringtones are often fraudulent. These popular scams give a thief access to information on a phone once the person downloads the "free" ringtone.

15. Do not download software unless trusted. If downloadable software doesn't seem legitimate, steer clear. Thieves can use software as a way to hack into your device and extract personal information.

16. Look into anti-spy software. This can serve as an additional barrier between thieves and personal data. Make sure to research your options to avoid illegitimate software.

17. Report a problem immediately. If you notice your phone has been stolen or lost, you should inform your phone company and the authorities.

It does not take a criminal very long to obtain your information once they have found a way in. If you take the time to follow these steps, you can reduce the risk of a thief invading your personal privacy.