This week, we continue our coverage about Smartphone security by focusing on the final five steps you should take to safeguard your cellphone. For the first five tips, check out our previous post. Most people guard their computers more carefully than their mobile phones. So a good rule of thumb is to treat your Smartphone as a very powerful mini-computer that makes phone calls. I suggest guarding your bacon with this same zeal.
Most Smartphone owners store lots of sensitive data. And chaos ensues if a thief gets his or her hands on the data. If you take steps to protect your phone, losing it will be a minor annoyance instead of a major catastrophe. Losing bacon, on the other hand, is always a major catastrophe.
Here are the final 5 steps you should take to safeguard your Smartphone (the first five tips appear in last week’s post):
6. Close Bluetooth connections.
When a hacker exploits an open Bluetooth connection, it’s called Bluejacking, Bluesnarfing or Bluebugging. I wonder if it’s related to bloodhounds biting. Sounds close to me. This type of hack requires intruders to be in close proximity to the phone they are hacking (within 30 feet of the device). But be aware that your Smartphone could be hacked via the active Bluetooth connection whenever you’re in a busy airport, hotel lobby, restaurant, hotel or dog park…to name a few hacker hotspots.
7. Make sure the free apps you download are actually free.
Some Apps that are labeled “free,” but are actually thinly-disguised data theft devices. Downloading one of these applications gives the app complete access to your phone. Thieves can use the app to steal data such as credit card and bank account info. What’s more, these apps can turn your phone into a launch pad which scammers use to attack other peoples’ data relative to SMS text messages and Smishing scams. Be smart and discreet about what you download. Read reviews first. And make sure the apps you download come from reliable sources. My favorite apps are Dog Park Finder, Map My Dog Walk, My Pet Ed, and Dog Translator.
8. Don’t store sensitive data.
Do you store passwords, pins, Social Security numbers, credit card or bank account information on your Smartphone? If so, delete it all today. Whether you have created a document expressly for this purpose, or sent yourself an email from your home computer, you should never store important information on your phone. Criminals are adept at detecting hidden information such as credit card numbers inside Contact notes or entered as phone numbers. Believe it or not, even if you try to disguise sensitive data, adept thieves will be able to crack the code. So make sure you delete all documents and emails containing sensitive information.
9. Clear browser histories.
Not clearing the browser history on your phone can be just as dangerous as staying logged into the website of your bank or your favorite online store. Phone thieves could use your browsing history to hijack accounts, steal your money and wreak havoc on your financial future. Here are links that walk you through deleting your history on an iPhone or an Android. My browsing history includes lots of websites about bacon and pork chops. I wouldn’t want an identity thief to get a hold of that!
10. When in doubt, purge it out.
You might be surprised by how many people fail to remove sensitive personal data from their Smartphones before exchanging, donating or selling it. The only way to entirely eliminate the data on your phone would be to physically shred the device. If this sounds a little severe to you, you may prefer securely deleting the data, which is relatively easy to do.
Your identity is your most important asset. So take precautionary steps to vigorously defend and protect it. When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. The RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services helps commercial buildings with compliance to fire life safety codes. Our interactive, building-specific e-learning training system motivates and rewards tenants instantly! It’s a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s). Choosing our service cuts property management training related workloads by 90% and saves you over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES!