Many of us heavily rely on our smartphones. Not only do we use them to stay in contact with our loved ones, but also for driving directions, shopping and accessing our bank accounts. Needless to say, there is a lot of important and sensitive information stored on these handheld devices. But are you keeping that sensitive information secure? Follow along for ways you can make your phone more secure:
- Keep Your Phone Software Up-to-Date. Companies are constantly updating software, and many of those updates include security improvements that help protect your phone against viruses and malware. If you do not update your phone, it becomes easier for viruses and malware to get into your phone and steal personal information.
- Lock Your Phone. While simple, making sure your phone as an adequate lock screen will help protect your personal information should your phone end up in the wrong hands. It can be as easy as face biometrics, a fingerprint, pattern or pin. Options will vary depending on the type of phone you have, but make sure to find an option that works for you.
- Create Strong Passwords for Applications. Use strong passwords (13+ characters) and multi-factor authentication on applications with sensitive information. This way, if a hacker gets into your phone, they will not be able to access your secured apps.
- Turn Off Your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi When Not in Use. These are two points of access that hackers can use to get into your phone. Hackers can disguise a malicious Wi-Fi to look like a free, public use Wi-Fi in order to get you to connect. Once you connect, they will have access into your phone and can view personal information stored on it. If you are going to connect to a public Wi-Fi, do so with a VPN, which will mask your connection from any malicious actors on the same Wi-Fi.
- Install and Maintain Your Applications. App stores thoroughly vet applications in their storefront prior to posting them, all to make sure you don’t download an app that can harm your device. Even then, check reviews and be sure to select apps that have a LOT of excellent reviews. Additionally, setup your apps for automatic security patching, delete apps you are no longer using, and be aware of what permissions you are giving your apps.
- Beware of Public Charging Stations. More commonly known as “juice jacking,” this tactic is used by hackers to load malware onto your device. It’s best to avoid plugging your phone into a public charging station, as a malicious actor may alter an outlet to transmit your data just from being plugged in.
- Know How to Wipe Your Phone Remotely in Case of an Emergency. Many cell phone providers will offer you a way to remotely wipe your phone if it does get into the wrong hands. This will vary depending on the device you own, but simply knowing what steps to take can further protect your information.
We Want Your Information to Stay Secure
We want to make sure that your information is secure and doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. If you are interested in learning more about how Blackhawk Bank can help you, contact us today!
VP Physical & Information Security