5 Big Mobile Privacy Mistakes You Don't Realize You're Making

Apr 30, 2013 13:21:37Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

5 Big Mobile Privacy Mistakes You Don't Realize You're Making

You have anti-virus software installed on your phone and use a passcode to get past your home screen, so you're mobile device is well-protected, right? Think again. These basic steps are definitely important for protecting online privacy, but there is much more to keeping your device secure. In fact, there are a number of everyday things you may be doing that put you at risk of a data breach, and you might not even know you're making these mistakes. Here are a few to keep on your radar:

The Universal Password
Most people know that using a code like "password123" to protect your online accounts is a bad idea, but simply using one unique and complex password isn't enough. You might have a code that's comprised of random numbers and letters, but if you use it to gain access to everything from your email to your bank account, you're putting all your eggs in one fragile basket. It's best to have several complex passwords, and if possible, a unique code for each and every app and service you use. You may think it's too much to remember, but imagine if your one universal password is somehow compromised - you'll have to create new pass codes for every single service you use, which would be a mighty headache. One method is to use a similar password with minor variations for different programs. For example, you could repeatedly use a word that's special to you and easy to remember, but then use various birth dates of friends and family to mix things up.

Storing Your Passwords
When you enter a password into a new service on your phone, you are often prompted to have the code stored in your phone's memory. This is certainly convenient, and you may feel secure doing so if you're the only one who uses the device. However, if your cell phone should be stolen, bear in mind that the thieves will have instant access to any app or program for which you've stored the password. For safety's sake, the next time your phone wants to store a password, decline the request.

Giving Out Your Digits Like Candy
The primary function of your cell phone should be to stay in touch with family and friends, but giving your phone number out to every Tom, Dick and Harry is a very risky move - you never know who might turn out to be a creep. On top of this, the more often you type your digits into an online form or social network profile, the more likely it is to be compromised and sold to scammers and solicitors. This is why many people use a disposable phone number that can be quickly replaced if it falls into the wrong hands.

Don't assume that you're a privacy guru just because you take basic precautionary measures to protect your cell phone. In addition to what you're already doing, the above tips can help you keep your mobile device safe and secure.