Today’s smartphones are more than just phones—they are mini computers that offer access to our personal information. With the quick touch of your fingertips, you can check your account balance, pay a bill, or log into your retirement account. Today’s technology is all about convenience, but when used in public places, you need to be cautious. Here are 5 tips to secure your phone and protect your private information:
1. Lock Your Phone
Locking your phone is the simplest way to secure access to your personal information. Passcode, facial recognition, fingerprint touch, and other developing trends are making it easier than ever for you to lock your phone from use by others, while making it easier for you to unlock it.
2. Keep your OS and Apps Up-to-date
Always update your smartphone OS (Operating System) and apps. By doing this, you will protect your phone (and your personal information) from current threats and vulnerabilities.
Hackers are very clever in discovering security holes in apps and using those to gain access to your personal data. Outdated apps are just as dangerous as they can run in the background, allowing hackers to access without your knowledge. Review your apps frequently; update the ones you use and delete the ones you don’t.
3. Use Public Wi-Fi with Caution
There’s a real risk in using open Wi-Fi in public places. Never use an unsecure wireless connection (one that you can access without a password) to access your personal information, like checking your account balance. If available, opt for Wi-Fi that requires a password. Also, only use sites with HTTPS—Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure—which encrypts information, making it harder for hackers to access your information.
4. Watch Out for Smishing
Smishing refers to when hackers use SMS (Short Message Service) by sending text with a link. When the receiver clicks on the link, or responds to the message, malware can steal your personal data. Never respond to a message or click on a link in a message from someone you don’t know.
5. Clean Data from a Lost or Stolen Phone
Losing your phone is scary but knowing that someone may find it and try to access your personal information is even scarier. For iPhone users, activate Find My iPhone, or for Android users, the Android Device Manager apps. These features help you locate your phone and allow you to remotely delete all data. When selling your phone, reset it to original factory settings and remove the SIM card and any other data storage cards.
6. Security and Your Personal Information
Smartphones have become society’s third hand. We rely on them for communication, for keeping us on schedule, and we use them to stay informed. Whether we’re checking account balance or paying a bill online, this convenience is great but comes with risk.
Be smart about how and when you use your smartphone, especially in public places. Avoid accessing sites with your financial information until you are on a secure network, like at home or the office.
Marine Federal Credit Union
The most frightening fact about having your financial information hacked is that it only takes one time, and one hacker, to disrupt your finances and your life.
At Marine Federal Credit Union, we take great pride in the security we offer our members when it comes to protecting their financial and personal data. To learn more about the wide range of financial services we offer, contact us. It is our mission to work with you to secure and protect your financial success.
Federally insured by NCUA. Membership eligibility required.
Information appearing in this article is obtained from sources we believe are reliable. The information may not be a complete statement of all available data and is not guaranteed as such. Marine FCU is not responsible for the contents of this article and advises its membership to investigate claims before following the information provided.