Ways to Secure Your Cellphone

Your phone isn’t just a phone anymore. It is everything that you care about. It stores everything from work email and documents to your credit card information. Most likely, you store all of your personal and business data in your phone and that’s why it’s such an attractive target for hackers.

Cybersecurity isn’t just lacking in your personal usage, but on the business level as well. According to Matt Montgomery, the Director of Wireless Business Group at Verizon Wireless, ” It’s shocking how little is being done. Even things that aren’t revolutionary, like changing your passwords. Companies are not even implementing policies that are well established.”

According to the Verizon Wireless annual Mobile Security Index, in a survey of 600 mobility professionals, the report found that “approximately one-third of organizations have knowingly sacrificed security for expediency or business performance.”

It’s pretty shocking, right? Stated in the same report, “Think about that. One in three organizations that we work with, buy from, turn to for healthcare, and that govern the communities in which we live, have put speed and profit before the safety of their data — and our data. And that’s just the ones that are aware and willing to admit it. The number could be significantly higher.”

Human Factor is the weakest link here. 76% of people will use the same password for most, if not all, websites. When stolen, user log ins and passwords are used to penetrate and steal a company’s data and credentials.

Don’t put yourself at risk. Tighten up your phone security with these tips:

  • Always keep your operating system up to date.
  • Activate your ‘find my phone’ feature.
  • Activate a screen lock. After a short period of inactivity, your phone should auto-lock itself.
  • Set up a more complicated passcode. Use a unique and lengthy password or pattern. If possible, use fingerprint or Face ID.
  • Enable two-factor authentication. Every time you sign in on a new device or new location, two-factor authentication will require you to verify your identity with a unique and time sensitive code.
  • Set your phone to wipe itself after 10 failed password attempts.
  • Activate an automatic backup in case your phone is lost, stolen, or wiped after the failed attempts to unlock it.
  • Regularly change your phone, cloud, and app passwords
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi and only use secure Wi-Fi, especially when accessing sensitive data!
  • Keep your bluetooth turned off – it’s not a secure way to communicate.
  • Only use trusted charging stations and never plug your phone into a computer you don’t trust.
  • If you have an iPhone, disable Siri on the lock screen.
  • Mind your apps. Always use official app stores to download apps and make sure you disable the option to allow installations of third-party apps. Check the permissions too, a game doesn’t need permission to access your text messages, right?
  • Update your apps as outdated apps leave your phone exposed to new viruses and attacks.
  • Beware of phishing – it’s so much harder to spot on your cellphone than on your computer. Never click on short, suspicious links and be careful of attachments that you download.

Remember, your cell phone is just as vulnerable to cyber attacks as your computer. Implement and enforce these easy security layers to keep your data protected.

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