Keeping your smartphone safe in the hacker era
Let’s face it: hacking of personal information is a problem today. In 2011, the Sony brand was kicked in the teeth with a hacking scandal that exposed customer information. Then you have groups like Anonymous who have the capability to take down full websites – Amazon and The Department of Defense to name a couple.
While it hasn’t quite reached the level of computers, smartphone security is going to face some steep hills in 2012. This article explains how you can keep your data secure, and what the potential threats are when using a smartphone for things like e-commerce or banking.
How to keep your smartphone safe
If you have a smartphone, chances are it runs your life. It can be tempting to make fast decisions because of ease. Why wait until you get home to your computer to make a purchase when you can do it on your phone now? Here are some things to keep in mind:
Don’t lose it. Seems simple, right? But people lose their phones all the time. The easiest way to keep your phone secure is to always know where it is.
Remote wipe it if you lose it. You have the ability to remotely erase your phone’s contents if you lose it. You have to sign up for the ability to do this, but that usually just requires you to download a (free) app. For instance, Apple has an app called Find My iPhone that will not only track your phone if it’s lost, but let you clear the contents before it falls into the wrong hands.
Use your lock function to its maximum potential. Most phones let you control your password that opens your phone when you’re bringing it back from idle. Be sure to set your phone to always prompt a password when coming back from sleep. Change your password often.
Avoid unencrypted data transfers. Don’t bank on your phone on a public wi-fi signal because they’re unencrypted. Similarly, never text sensitive information. Texts are also unencrypted. What is encryption? Encryption essentially “locks” information so that it’s readable only to people possessing the “key.”
Smartphone security – the risks to you
By nature, Android users are usually more susceptible to security issues than iPhone users. This is because Android is an open-source operating system. Developers can upload their apps to the Android Market without having to get them verified. Apple operates the opposite way.
Be mindful of the apps you install and the settings you enable in them. Once an app is installed on your phone, it could potentially record your calls and texts, or get personal banking and credit card information.
Hackers can also hack into your phone and send thousands of texts, running up your bill.
As with wireless Internet providers like wireless Internet Houston, it’s important to choose a phone operating system that’s right for you. If you’re worried about potential danger, then iPhones seem to be less risky. However, you shouldn’t be too worried about having an Android if you’re cautious about how you use it.
The best way to ensure safety is to avoid banking and making purchases on your phone. Like e-commerce security on the Web, it will probably take a few years for smartphone security to be sure-fire.