How to keep your smartphone safe

3 Ways To Keep Your Phone Safe

Whilst most of us have some form of security protection on our computers, the same cannot be said of a large proportion of our smart phones. Phones often contain sensitive, personal information, and keeping them secure is as important as keeping your computer secure.

Three Tips To Keep Your Smart Phone Secure

Use a PIN/keylock code: A recent survey by a large software security company discovered that, rather alarmingly, whilst almost half of smart phone owners have lost or had a mobile phone stolen, 67% don’t have any form of password set up on their mobile phones to protect their data. If you don’t have this most elementary level of security on your phone and it is lost, stolen or simply left unattended, anyone that picks it up will have unrestricted access. This could involve data being stolen, phone calls being made or unwanted services being registered for, and could result in considerable financial cost.

However, a screen lock by itself won’t stop someone from removing your SIM card and using it on another phone, so you should also set up a SIM card lock in the form of a PIN number that will need to be entered to connect to a network.

Back up your data: Most of us have a lot of images stored on our phones – and quite a few of us also have important documents, contacts, messages, appointments and other information that could take a long time to replace if we had our phones stolen, lost or damaged. If you have no backup system in place on your phone some of these items may be lost forever.

Ensuring that regular backups are made is essential, and there are a number of ways to go about it. Most modern phones now allow users to “synchronise” information with a computer or website for productivity or backup purposes. This can include e-mails and contacts with Microsoft Outlook, photos uploaded to online storage or software supplied by your phone's manufacturer to simply backup key data in the event of loss.

Security software: Good anti-virus security software can provide malware, spam and firewall protection and help you control your phone from afar. If it has GPS capabilities it can also show you the location of a device if it is lost or stolen.

Furthermore, some security software enables you to lock a device remotely, requiring password access on the handset or a specific unlock request to re-enable it. If a phone has simply been misplaced in the home, an audible alert request can be sent to the device to signal its location, and it’s even possible to erase sensitive data remotely if you’re sure it has found its way into the wrong hands.

Taking a few moments to evaluate what you would lose if you had no access to your phone should help make your mind up that yes, you do need to take your mobile security seriously. Follow these three basic elements of smart phone security to make sure that you and your phone aren’t easy targets.

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