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Smartphone Security

Discussion in 'Community Broadband & Computers' started by Villager, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Villager

    Villager Ashburn Village Resident

    Nov 1, 2006
    Likes Received:

    Also remember that your email address, website passwords, bank account software logins, and other personal information may be on your phone and dangerous to you if someone unsavory finds it. Maybe your Facebook login isn't that critical, but combined with other information readily available on your phone you don't want a stranger with bad intentions to use it.


    The Do's:

    1. Lock your screen with a pin code or password. While this seems simple, anything that provides an extra layer of difficulty for an untrustworthy user is beneficial.

    2. Install and enable remote services. All major smartphone operating systems (Blackberry, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile) can be enabled with some or all of these features: remote lock, remote wipe, and even GPS location (for finding where your phone went) are available in many cases. This goes hand in hand with No. 3.

    3. Back up your data. Either through a product that offers this functionality, or simply by copying your documents, pictures and info to your computer. This can save you in the event of a lost, stolen, destroyed, or otherwise non-functioning phone.

    4. Use encryption where available. Though not offered on every platform, if you can use it, you should. Even in cases where you lock your phone, the data on your device storage can, in some cases, be accessible unless it is encrypted. This includes external memory cards, such as SD cards, installed in the device as well.

    5. Use Antivirus. The mobile malware landscape is developing more quickly now than ever before, due to increased reliance on smartphones for everyday tasks such as banking, paying bills, and managing finances. As a direct result, malware writers will likely show an ever increasing interest in gaining access to your money.

    The Don'ts

    1. Don't jailbreak, root, or otherwise unlock your phone. While this may add some small increase in functionality, it can also completely disable the security architecture of your device.

    2. Don't connect to untrusted Wi-Fi access points. The coffee shop, the airport or other points of connectivity can be compromised or otherwise provide a way for others to access your secure data. Login data or personal information that you provide over these networks can sometimes be accessible to other people either connected to, or operating these access points. It is also worth mentioning that many services on current devices will "auto-synchronize" in the background without any user action. The information used to synchronize, or the information you send or receive during the syncing process could be available to others in this circumstance.

    3. Don't wait to report a problem. Immediately notify your network administrator or other responsible security person if your phone has been lost or stolen. Treat your phone as though it is your wallet. If you have backed up your data, you will recover.

    4. Don't skip updates. Update your operating system, update your apps. Security flaws are found in both operating systems and applications every day. The longer you wait, the longer you risk being exposed.

    5. Don't assume your mobile device is any safer than your computer. It is a fact that viruses and other malware exist for mobile devices. Phishing attacks often still work on mobile browsers. Employ all the safety tactics you'd use on your regular computer. Check the address of the site you're trying to access, avoid clicking links in email, or SMS/text messages, and avoid providing personal data whenever possible, even via SMS/text message.

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